Deciding to launch a magazine was the easy part. Naming it, on the other hand, proved to be a chore.
Content and design for the new publication quickly fell into place. Big photographs. Lots of white space. And personal stories that highlight our programs in an approachable and personal way. Easy-peasy.
However, we played hide-and-seek with a great name for months. The obvious answer was to stick Noble – our founder's last name and every PR director's dream adjective – in front of everything: Noble Times, Noble Bulletin, Noble Today or – if we stretched ourselves – Inside Noble.
They seemed so … umm … expected. The name needed to capture our reader's attention and convey who we were as an organization. We wanted the unique. We wanted a pop.
But how do you encompass the Noble Research Institute's activities (fundamental to applied research, plant breeding, consultation, in-field demonstration, education and – at the time – philanthropy) in one name without excluding a particular audience or working group?
You call it Field Notes, and the activities from 20-plus laboratories seem overlooked. You call it Inside the Lab, and you exclude those who work directly with farmers and ranchers.
The brain-block grew and, ultimately, I resorted to scribbling potential names on a small whiteboard in my boss's outer office. He would walk by them, study them for a few seconds and then cross them off. Weeks passed, and I burned through every thesaurus I could find.
When I scribbled Apex onto the whiteboard, I knew that feeling under my feet was the bottom of the barrel. What, are we selling climbing gear? Watch out The North Face; here comes Noble.
To be fair, Legacy was an early idea that was nixed because of a concern it may not resonate with others the same way it does with us. We have a fundamental belief here at Noble that everything we do, every project and program, is the direct result of the incredible generosity of our founder, Lloyd Noble. We are stewards of his vision and resources. We are a living legacy.
So as we began to revisit the extensive list of possibilities, we kept going back to Legacy. The name took root, and soon we could see no other option.
The choice seems so obvious now. We are part of a lineage of excellence, the fortunate curators of a great tradition, and the stories that have filled these pages reflect our ongoing mission to provide solutions to great agricultural challenges.
More so, the stories within Legacy have revealed the spirit behind the men and women who propel our great endeavor, and demonstrate how their imagination and ingenuity impacts lives in the Southern Great Plains and far beyond.
Seems fitting then, that as Legacy celebrates 10 years of chronicling the Noble story, this issue marks our most significant moment – the transformation of the Noble Foundation into the Noble Research Institute.
This is the story of how our organization boldly stepped into a new era, while paving the way for the next generation of Lloyd Nobles to advance agriculture. It's a great read.
As always, we hope you enjoy this issue of Apex (see, terrible name). We hope you enjoy this issue of Legacy.