Writing the Next Chapter

I’m fortunate to have had two rewarding careers during my 40-year professional life.

From 2008 to 2022, I was the chief executive officer of the Farm Bureau of Ventura County, leading a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and representing the interests of farmers and ranchers in the last great agricultural landscape on the Southern California coast. And from 1983 to 2008, I was a reporter, editor and columnist for the Ventura County Star, a daily newspaper. During those years, my commentaries on land-use policy, natural resources and environmental issues were distributed by Scripps Howard News Service and published in numerous magazines and newspapers throughout the United States, including the Sacramento BeeSan Diego Union-TribuneSan Jose Mercury NewsDenver Post and Seattle Times. I’m the recipient of numerous journalism fellowships and awards for my reporting, which took me all over the country but mostly focused on the West. (You can read more details about me on my website at www.johnkrist.com.)

I retired at the start of 2022, and have returned to doing what I most enjoyed during my professional career: traveling around this big, beautiful country of ours, and telling stories in words and photographs about what I encounter. Only now I’m on the road with my partner, Leslie Leavens, and we are traveling in a customized camper van we have dubbed “Next Chapter.”

Please join us on the road by subscribing to this newsletter.

— John Krist

Next Chapter in its first campsite, on the Hood River, Oregon. (John Krist photo)

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Stories, photography and commentary about the landscape, people, history and cultures of the American West.


John Krist

After careers in journalism and advocacy, I now travel with my partner around the West, exploring its landscape and writing about its history, geography, cultures and politics.