IT'S the news many never thought they'd read: Mike Lamond is moving on.
The longstanding Good Fruit & Vegetables sales manager and photographer has accepted a position with the Stock Journal (also owned by Fairfax Agricultural Media) in South Australia and subsequently will no longer be directly contributing to the magazine.
It was Mr Lamond’s last day with the national fresh produce magazine today, as he finished off the June edition having also attended Hort Connections 2018 in the same week.
Mr Lamond's immediate manager, Matt De La Hunty, said Mr Lamond had been "the backbone of Good Fruit & Veg for as long as I can remember".
"Mike has cemented GFV to where it is today and has built up a very large network of customers who trust him and believe in him as to where the advertising dollars should be spent," he said.
"This drive and desire from Mike to make GFV the best publication in ags (agriculture papers) will be missed."
Mr Lamond started selling into Good Fruit & Vegetables 17 years ago and said he'd grown to love the horticulture industry.
"It was just such a new experience, coming from a broadacre background to horticulture," Mr Lamond said.
Last year Mr Lamond was a finalist in the 2017 Hort Connections Awards of Excellence in the Community Stewardship category.
When asked if, after attending so many conferences, he was able to grow vegetables and fruit himself, he replied: "Haven't really had the time, mate."
Mr Lamond said he'd seen plenty of changes over the years in both the horticulture and publishing spaces.
Most within horticulture would be very familiar with Mr Lamond who attended many industry conferences and field days throughout the year, often driving through the night and interstate to reach a destination.
He estimated he did between 50, 000km - 60,000km per year.
Camera in hand, Mr Lamond has been a familiar sight blazing away thousands of photos at events.
His love of photography developed while working in the media.
They aren't just colleagues; they are mates.
"It's one of the advantages of working in a small newspaper - you learn other parts of the business," he said.
Good Fruit & Vegetables editor, Ashley Walmsley, said Mr Lamond was a rare breed when it came to commitment to a publication.
"Mike is always on duty; he's always thinking about the next magazine, the next event and how we can do the best coverage for it," Mr Walmsley said.
"He's probably been underappreciated to be honest. Few sale reps these days have the stamina to be at an almond conference in Adelaide one day, then jump in the car as that finishes in order to cover a citrus conference in NSW the next.
"Our loss is the Stock Journal's gain, that's for sure."
Mr Lamond thanked all of his clients that had supported him over the years.
"I wouldn't be in the position I am now if it wasn't for them," he said.
"They aren't just colleagues; they are mates."