Meet the Team
Oscar H. Will III, Editor in Chief and Ogden Publications Editorial Director
Like Dorothy, I’m not entirely sure how I got here except that I have passion for publishing, small-scale agriculture and living in the country. I was born in Bismarck, North Dakota where my family operated a seed company and nursery, which my great grandfather and namesake founded in the early 1880s. Early childhood experiences at the nursery and among the Missouri River’s bluffs left me with an abiding love of plants (especially grasses) and a profound appreciation for the prairie.
Between then and now, I spent sixteen years in academia as a biologist, which thankfully left enough time to do some nursery work, farming and writing on the side. My commercial agricultural production experience includes alfalfa sprouts, hay, beef cattle, free-range poultry (meat and eggs), native perennial plants, trees, cut flowers and truck crops on farms in South Dakota and Ohio. During the six years immediately prior to landing in Kansas, I freelanced for several magazines, including GRIT, Farm Collector, Mother Earth News and other Ogden Publications titles.
Family members and friends call me Hank to distinguish me from the other two Oscars in the lineage. I prefer Hank, but will answer to just about anything.
Caleb D. Regan, Managing Editor
I first tasted hard work and the satisfying feeling of completing that work on a farm of about 200 acres in southeast Kansas. Those feelings are what GRIT represents to me: those joys that result from, and often accompany, perseverance through what can be a trying lifestyle and the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that comes with living life in the country. In my mind, there’s no better way to experience life than being close to the food you eat and the resources you use.
I feel fortunate to have experienced that lifestyle as a child growing up on a Kansas family farm, and now I feel lucky to work on country lifestyle content on a daily basis while my wife and I search for our place out where the pavement ends.
Traci Smith, Senior Associate Editor
Jean Teller, Associate Editor
I was a city girl until the age of 6, when my dad, who had grown up on a dairy farm, decided he couldn’t take living in town anymore. So, Mom and Dad found some ground, built a house, and moved us out of city limits.
As kids, my sister and I thought living the rural life was exciting. We got to ride the bus to school, we had horses and dogs, and always a ton of barn cats. As an adult, I still love the excitement of rural living, and I wouldn’t live in town for anything. I now live on 20 acres in Osage County, Kansas, not far from where I grew up.
I started my career with Stauffer Communications in 1994, which was later sold to Ogden Publications. I’m happy to be part of such a fantastic team of editors, and I’m grateful to have a job I love.
A winding road of career choices brought me to GRIT back in 1997, and it's been a good fit. I grew up in a small town in north-central Kansas, learning early that I am most definitely a child of the High Plains. I adore the wide open spaces, seeing for miles over the rolling prairie and feeling the wind on my face – although I’ve discovered that time on an ocean is as much a balm to my spirit as a visit to the wide-open prairie. Contact me for any of your food questions or to send your recipes for Recipe Box's Help Wanted column.
Kellsey Trimble, Assistant Editor
I grew up in the Wakarusa valley of Northeast Kansas on a 40-acre farm that my parents built and named Thistle Moon Farm. Even at a young age, I knew I would never want the fast city life. I love riding horses in my spare time, and I spend summer days with a kindhearted farmer who has been gracious enough to take me on as an apprentice of sorts. I enjoy my occupation as an assistant editor for GRIT magazine. It's the best of both worlds, combining the rural lifestyle with intellectual exploration every single day.
Ilene Reid, Editorial Assistant
I was born and raised in Northeast Kansas, and I love it here. I do love small-town county living. Over the years, I've had a hand in raising hogs, cattle and chickens on a small scale. We've always had a few horses, and of course, a good dog and a few cats. I miss those days now, but working here at GRIT and Capper’s Farmer fills that yearning for that simple country lifestyle.