KANSAS CITY — As is the case like clockwork every three months, a major story appearing in the current issue of this publication details myriad flour production statistics from the most recently completed quarter. What many readers may be surprised to learn is that the editor who wrote the article just celebrated his 90th birthday.
Neil N. Sosland, a senior editor of markets, has prepared the flour production story for decades, going back to the many years when the data from which the articles are based came out monthly, not quarterly, and were issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, not the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mr. Sosland has been an editor since completing military service in 1954 during the Korean War. Over the course of his 65-plus year career he was principally responsible for ingredient markets assignments, devoting his attention to daily and weekly coverage of millfeed markets. He also was the editor responsible for the bakery shortening, sweetener, milk, eggs and cocoa columns, which he introduced to this publication. Largely retired, Mr. Sosland handed off responsibility for these markets to others but continues writing flour production, a story still highly anticipated by industry executives.
At a dinner last week celebrating his birthday, Mr. Sosland recalled family members, including his mother, who died young, reminding his children that no one knows when their time is up. Until that day comes, he pledged to “do his best to get along and remain productive.” It’s guidance that, like his attentive flour production coverage, merits sharing.