Full disclosure must be made: Cheryl and Ralph Broetje once sent us a box of apples after a visit to our office. This is NOT why we wrote an article about their orchard operation (see Core Values). In fact, at least one of our editors is allergic to apples, and several of the rest only eat fruits and vegetables because our building has not candy vending machines.
Nope, it wasn't the produce that led us to send managing editor Jim Rice to Washington state to interview the Broetjes. Nor was it the fact that Jim's high school reunion was being held nearby (although that might have had something to do with the timing). Rather, it's that Cheryl and Ralph have instituted innovative, extensive support systems for the workers who harvest their crops. Successful businesspeople who place faith, justice, and community above the bottom line is always a story worth telling.
Also in this issue, assistant editor Rose Berger gathers an engaging collection of ethical "thoughtbites" on the human genome project; Kimberly Burge profiles folk artist Dar Williams; and editor Jim Wallis makes a case for letting God hang around the public square.
Oh, just to dispel any potential confusion: A genome is not the small, bearded figure with pointed hat often found as kitschy lawn art. The gene that leads people to put pink flamingos in front yards and plastic Santas on garage roofs may never be found.