Mikell Retires after 22 Years with Across the Fence

Will Mikell sitting in the Across the Fence studio.
Will Mikell

UVM College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Associate Dean and Director of Extension Roy Beckford wrote a poignant farewell about the retirement of Will Mikell, Across the Fence (ATF) producer. Mikell worked at UVM for 23 years and as the ATF producer for 22 of those years. Prior to UVM, he was a reporter, news anchor and producer at WCAX for 17 years.

A Personal Tribute to Will Mikell

As you embark on the next chapter of your life, I wanted to take a moment to express my deepest appreciation for all that you have done as the producer of Across the Fence. Your retirement marks the end of an era and leaves us with a legacy that is unmatched.

For almost three decades, you have dedicated your time, your talent, and your heart to this excellent television program. Your unwavering commitment to UVM Extension, the College of Agriculture, and the University of Vermont as a whole is truly inspiring. Through your hard work and dedication, you have helped Across the Fence become one of the two longest running television programs in the entire United States, and that accomplishment alone is a testament to your talents and your passion.

In the two short years that I have had the privilege of working with you, I have come to admire you not just as a producer, but as a colleague, an advisor, and a mentor. Your patience, your guidance, and your willingness to share your expertise have made a lasting impact on me and many others. From our discussions on media strategies to our conversations about life and beyond, you have always been there to listen, to provide insight, and to offer your support. Your wealth of knowledge and experience is unparalleled, and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from you.

Beyond your professional contributions, I am grateful for your kind and caring nature. You have always been approachable, and your sense of humor has brought levity to even the most challenging of situations, notable during the recent Covid-19 pandemic when the show ran uninterrupted. Also notable, have been your genuine concern for others and your willingness to lend a helping hand, which are truly commendable attributes.

As you embrace this new chapter in your life, I want you to know that your impact will be felt long after you retire. Your dedication, creativity, and passion have helped shape Across the Fence into what it is today, and your contributions to Extension, the College of Agriculture, and the University of Vermont will not be forgotten. You have left an indelible mark on those of us fortunate enough to have worked alongside you.

So, as you step away from your role as ATF producer, I hope you take the time to reflect on the incredible career you have had and the lives you have touched. May your retirement be filled with joy, laughter, and all the adventures that you have yet to experience.

Thank you, Will, for everything you have done. You will be greatly missed, but your legacy will live on in the history you have helped to write and record.

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