Stephen Seeber will take over next week as the editor of Lancaster Farming.
Seeber comes to the paper after 24 years at the Lititz Record Express newspaper, including the past 15 as editor and associate editor.
He will replace Dennis Larison, who is retiring after eight years at the helm.
“While I am not a farmer, I have lived in farming communities my entire life, and I appreciate the vital importance of this industry,” Seeber said.
Seeber is a familiar face to the Lancaster Farming staff because the Record Express has shared an office in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, since 2006 with Lancaster Farming and The Ephrata Review newspaper.
All three publications are part of LNP Media Group.
With its Maine-to-Virginia focus, Lancaster Farming covers a much larger territory than the hyperlocal Record Express, but “the concept of community is exactly the same,” Seeber said.
Seeber himself has spent his whole life in rural small towns.
His roots are in Woolrich, the eponymous clothing manufacturer’s modest company town in the mountains outside Lock Haven.
Dairy and tomato farms still stud the nearby valleys, and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River links the region to the broader Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Seeber followed the river down to Millersville University, where in 1993 he got his degree in international studies.
“At that stage of my life, world travel sounded exciting,” he said.
But it was his experiences with the college paper, The Snapper, that piqued his interest in journalism.
Seeber mostly wrote features and restaurant reviews, often working late, pizza-fueled nights to meet his deadlines.
He joined the Record Express after college, and was part of the news staff that won the Keystone Press Awards sweepstakes contest in 2002.
“We were really putting out a product that I was extremely proud of,” Seeber said.
Since being named editor of Lancaster Farming, he has been learning the paper’s nuances and meeting members of the ag industry.
“Steve and I have been working closely for the past month on the transition and supervision of the newspaper,” said Larison, the retiring editor.
“Over that time I’ve grown more and more confident that our readers will be in good hands under his leadership.”
Seeber said he’s learned a lot from Larison, and credited him with elevating the paper’s news content during his tenure.
For now, Seeber doesn’t plan any major changes to the paper.
“My goal and my hope is to get face time with people in the farm community,” he said.