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					    The Farm
     Journalist
    NEWSLETTER OF THE CANADIAN FARM WRITERS’ FEDERATION


Editor: Connie Duivenvoorden, 12330 24 Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 5P4
        Phone 604-541-3964, E-mail: agrofare@telus.net                                                           March 2007



                            “Taste the Future” in Ontario in 2007
                                                                                   style Paddlewheeler boat for a dinner cruise of

                              A
                                        ll CFWF members are invited to
                                        Ontario this September to “Taste the       the picturesque 1000 Islands area.
                                        Future”. The annual CFWF confer-              Saturday’s agenda will feature plenary ses-
                            ence will be held September 27 to 30, 2007 in          sions in the morning and a series of concurrent
                            Belleville, Ontario.                                   professional development seminars on a variety
                               Belleville is located in the heart of the beauti-   of topics in the afternoon. The keynote speaker is
                            ful Quinte Region, half way between Toronto and        Roy McGregor, a Globe and Mail columnist and
                            Ottawa on the shores of Lake Ontario. The region       bestselling fiction and non-fiction author.
                            has become known for attracting innovative,               The conference will also feature a new initia-
                            value-added approaches to farming in Ontario.          tive – a CFWF silent auction. Delegates are
                            The area is rich in agro-tourism and is becoming       encouraged to bring items to contribute to this
                            recognized, among other initiatives, for its grow-     event which will raise money for charity. Other
                            ing wine industry.                                     conference favourites including an annual ban-
                               Speakers, tours and professional development        quet, awards ceremony and performance by the
                            seminars at the conference will all focus on the       GMOs will be back by popular demand.
                            area’s unique approach to agriculture with the            Committee chairs include Suzanne Atkinson
                            theme of “Taste the Future”.                           (tours), Owen Roberts and Barry MacCormack
                               Pre-conference activities will begin on             (professional development), Clare Illingworth
                            Thursday, September 27 with optional profes-           and Nadine Buitenhuis (facilities), Bernard Tobin
                            sional development seminars organized in con-          and Martin Harry (hospitality), Jane Robinson
                            junction with Belleville’s Loyalist College’s jour-    (sponsorship), Kim Waalderbos and Carol
                            nalism program. Topics will focus on blogging          Carlson (publicity) and Sarah Brown (registra-
                            and photo journalism.                                  tion).
                               On Friday, conference attendees will have a             More details will be made available in the
                            choice of two bus tours. One will take riders          coming months. Registration information will be
                            north of Belleville into picturesque                   available on the CFWF website by May of 2007.
                            Northumberland County while the second will
                                                                                      For more information, contact:
                            head south into Prince Edward County. Both
                            tours will focus on local agricultural initiatives.            • Lilian Schaer, Office of Research,
                            Stops on the northern route will include a sales               University of Guelph
                            barn, buffalo game farm, apple farm and histori-               lilian@uoguelph.ca
                            cal agricultural museum. Stops on the southern                 or 519-824-4120 ext. 53781
                            route will include a winery, cidery, dairy goat                • Kelly Daynard, Ontario Farm Animal
                            farm, sod farm and mushroom farm.                              Council
                               On Friday night, conference delegates will                  kdaynard@ofac.org
                            depart on a majestic triple decked Mississippi-                or 519-837-1326, ext. 224
2 THE FARM JOURNALIST, MARCH 2007


BC report for 2007
                                                     By David Schmidt, BCFWA President
                                                involves our secretary, a position tradition-

  I
       n an effort to encourage more BC
       attendance at the CFWF annual            ally filled by the regional communications
       meeting and conference, the BC           co-ordinator of Agriculture & Agri-Food
Farm Writers Association has agreed to          Canada. Since Kate Glover is leaving that
reimburse the early bird registration fee for   position, her BCFWA responsibilities are
any of its members who attend. Members          being transferred to her replacement,
made the decision at their annual meeting,      Tamara Leigh. Tamara is moving to BC
which was held in conjunction with the          from Edmonton where she was the AAFC
Pacific Agriculture Show in Abbotsford,         senior regional communications advisor for
February 16.                                    Alberta and the Territories. Welcome to BC
   Since BC is scheduled to host the 2008       and the BCFWA, Tamara! Remaining on
conference, we wanted to encourage as           the executive are David Schmidt, president      Strut your stuff! James Alexander
many members as possible to attend the          and CFWF director; Tony Greaves, treasur-       Green, Shaw TV Victoria, beams as he
2007 conference, both to see how confer-        er; and Bob Mitchell & Wayne Wickens,           accepts the TV Golden Rooster Award
ences are run in other areas of the country,    Tim Armstrong Fund directors.                   for agriculture awareness.
and to drum up interest in the BC confer-           Speaking of the Tim Armstrong Fund,            The fifth annual AgriFood Industry
ence in 2008. We have tentatively selected      long-time member Evelyn Harper has made         Gala that took place on February 16, in
Courtenay-Comox on Vancouver Island as          another $1,000 donation to the Fund. This       Aldergrove, BC was a big night on the
our conference location. This is one of         is her second $1,000 donation in the past       calendar of BC farm writers—especially
Vancouver Island’s two prime agricultural       three years and we thank her profusely. The     for gala coordinator, and farm writer, Nico
regions, with lots of unique agriculture,       Tim Armstrong Fund, named in honour of          Human.
good airport access and the excellent tourist   one of the founders of both the BCFWA              The event included the BC Outstanding
amenities BC is famous for. We say “tenta-      and the CFWF, annually awards a $1,000          Young Farmers and Golden Rooster
tively selected” because we would like          scholarship to a BC resident for agricultural   Awards. To watch Google videos of the
your feedback if you would prefer the con-      studies. Thanks to Evelyn’s generous dona-      Golden Rooster finalists and winners go
ference be based in a more major metropol-      tions, the fund earns enough each year to       to: http://WWW.BCAC.BC.CA/golden-
itan area. If you have any comments, please     cover the scholarship even in these low         roosters.htm.
email davidschmidt@shaw.ca or                   interest days. Thanks to Bob Mitchell, VP          The BC Agriculture Council presents
peter@sincera.ca                                of agriculture for the Bank of Montreal for     the AgriJournalism competition to honour
   The annual meeting resulted in two           managing the fund, getting applicants and       excellence in journalism, broadcasting,
changes to the board of directors: Peter Van    selecting the scholarship recipient each        nd communications in articles and pro-
Dongen of Sincera Group Communications          year. Thanks also for again sponsoring the      grams that contribute to a greater public
is our new vice president, replacing Fran       AGM lunch. What will we do when you             awareness for British Columbia agricul-
Bach of Agri-Digest. The second change          retire?                                         ture and food. The entries must reach a
                                                                                                non-farm audience.


 v Are you under the age of 35 and seeking opportunities to travel, and
 move forward your career?
    Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation members under the age of 35 (as of April 15, 2007) are encouraged to apply
 for the Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award. The award provides an opportunity for
 young journalists to attend an esteemed gathering of the best agricultural journalists in the world.
     The Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation will forward one nominee from the CFWF membership to apply for the
 bursary, valued at $1,250 euros. The bursary will be put toward the IFAJ annual congress in Japan, Sept. 17-23
 (http://www.knt.co.jp/ec/2006/ifaj-e/).
    The application process includes a written 350 word essay. The application deadline is MARCH 31,2007.
    For more information contact Owen Roberts, award chair, at 519-824-4120 Ext. 58278, or owen@uoguelph.ca
                                                                                       THE FARM JOURNALIST, MARCH 2007 3



ECFWA seminar marks series of firsts
                                                                                              By Lilian Schaer, ECFWA President
                                                                                                     Welcome CanACT!

                                          T
                                                  he recent Eastern Canada Farm
                                                  Writers Association (ECFWA )            This seminar also marked the first time
                                                  professional development semi-       student members of the University of
                                        nar was one for the history books.             G u e l p h ’s Canadian A g r i c u l t u r a l
                                             Connecting through cyberspace             Communicators of Tomorrow (CanACT)
                                           The cutting edge technology in              club joined ECFWA at one of its events.
                                        Guelph’s Ontario AgriCentre allowed 27         Many past CanACT members have gone
                                        Ontario farm writers to connect via video-     on to become full-fledged farm writers,
                                        conference to six Maritime colleagues in       and ECFWA is working to strengthen the
                                        Moncton, NB. The Guelph audience was           relationship between the two org a n i z a-
                                        able to participate “live”, and those in       tions.
                                        New Brunswick followed the presentation           And, so what about the seminar…?
                                        on the Internet and submitted questions to        Owen Roberts of the University of
                                        panelists via email.                           Guelph moderated a panel discussion on
                                           This is the first time participants at      honing your interviewing techniques.
                                        multiple locations have been linked to         Panelists were Simon Crouch, News
                                        jointly participate in a professional devel-   Director with CFCO Radio in Chatham,
                                        opment seminar, and is part of ECFWA’s         and Colin Siren, Senior Research Manager
                                        ongoing efforts to make its educational        with Ipsos Reid. The presentations were
                                        programming accessible to all members.         informative and entertaining, touching off
                                        ECFWA members are spread out across            a flurry of questions and discussions that
                                        Ontario and Atlantic Canada, making it a       made for a fascinating two hour program.
                                        challenge to present universal develop-           Special thanks to Jane Robinson and
                                        ment opportunities. Last June, ECFWA           Allison Finnamore for taking charge of
                                        presented a seminar to members using           the daunting technological requirements
                                        webinar technology.                            needed to make this happen!


ECFWA secretary treasurer Sarah Brown
manning the registration table.




                                            Ontario Farm writers focus on interviewing techniques at Ontario AgriCentre.
4 THE FARM JOURNALIST, MARCH 2007



Tightening up your interview skills
                                                                       to what’s being said (and not just take notes) prepares you for
                                                                       where the interview is going and keeps the interviewee engaged.
                                                                       3) Don’t take the lead.
                                                                           In market research, leading questions are a big no-no, also
                                                                       generally true in journalism. Open-ended questions are the way to
                                                                       get subjects to articulate their thoughts whether you’re after a
                                                                       tight sound bite or new insights.
                                                                       4) It’s not personal.
                                                                          Another similarity for the two presenters was the importance
                                                                       of keeping your personal opinions out of the discussion. And
                                                                       Simon cautions against trying to show the subject how smart you
                                                                       are on their subject. It’s a quick way to mess up a good interview.
                                                                       5) Lighten up.
Seminar presenters Simon Crouch, Colin Siren and moderator             When asked about how to deal with lagging conversations, Colin
Owen Roberts wow the crowd.                                            suggested smiling and nodding to encourage the interviewee,
                                                                       while Simon aims to make it feel like he’s just sitting and talking


  I
       n early March, ECFWA members gathered in the media              with his subjects to help them relax.
       room of the Ontario AgriCentre in Guelph to pick up some
       new interview skills from a panel of experts. We were all
                                                                       6) Avoid the curves.
                                                                          Simon isn’t big on throwing questions out of left field in an
particularly excited about the prospect of hearing from the
                                                                       interview. It doesn’t always work and can throw the whole inter-
Ontario Provincial Police, as well as a seasoned farm broadcaster
                                                                       view off. On the other hand, interviewees given questions ahead
and market researcher. Plus, the event marked a technology
                                                                       of time can leave you with stilted, pat answers.
experiment as Maritime members and guests joined us via web-
                                                                          The closer. When wrapping up an interview, both panel mem-
cast at the Farm Mechanization Show in Moncton, NB.
                                                                       bers make use of “is there anything else?” or “what should I ask
    Well, we’re nothing if not an innovative, quick-to-adapt group.
                                                                       that I didn’t?” to be sure they don’t miss a gem.
The OPP officer fell sick and couldn’t attend, and it seems all the
other officers were needed to continue “to serve and protect.” And     7) Be honest.
our technology experiment threw a few little glitches, but nothing        From Simon’s perspective, honesty is always the best policy.
we couldn’t fake our way through.                                      Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know anything about this…” to
    With a total audience of just under 30, Colin Siren, senior        help clarify a situation and avoid the bluffing game.
research manager with Ipsos-Reid and Simon Crouch, news
director of Blackburn Farm Radio commanded the panel presen-
tation, with Owen Roberts moderating.
    Here are some of the interviewing tips and highlights from
Colin and Simon. Although their professions are different, they
                                                                                    Getting the Goods
had some interviewing techniques in common. And while some of              “ Let your personality shine through (if you have a
these tips may be old hat to veterans, it can’t hurt to revisit them    good one). Don’t be a blank wall.” That’s one of the
every now and then.                                                     interview tips offered by Eric Nalder, Seattle Times,
                                                                        in his online article “Loosening Lips - The Art of the
1) Set expectations.                                                    Interview” .
   Whether it’s a cold call for a market researcher or a pre-
arranged interview, start by setting expectations right up front –
                                                                           He also suggests interviewers visualize their sub-
how much time you need, what the process is, etc.                       jects as a bucket of information that needs to be
                                                                        drained.
2) Listen first.                                                           For tips to hone your skills visit:
   For Colin it’s about gathering information and screening for         http://home.earthlink.net/~cassidyny/naldertip.htm
relevance in terms of a market research fit. For Simon, listening
5 THE FARM JOURNALIST, MARCH 2007


                                             Bernard Tobin to lead AdFarm’s
                                             business in Eastern Canada
                                                                                              from Ryerson University and Bachelor of

                                                A
                                                          dFarm has hired B E R N A R D
                                                          TO B I N to lead the agency’s       Arts from Memorial University. He is a
                                                          Eastern Canada business in          member of the Canadian Public Relations
                                             Guelph, Ontario.                                 Society and the recipient of the John
                                                 Tobin will be responsible for leading        Hervey Award for Excellence in
                                              the Account Team and maintaining overall        Journalism from the U.S. Harness Writers
                                              client satisfaction and business growth for     Association along with five Canadian
Bernard Tobin, familiar to farm writers as    AdFarm in Eastern Canada. Tobin brings          Farm Wr i t e r s ’ Federation awards and
a five-time Canadian Farm Wr i t e r s ’      with him 14 years of communications             numerous Canadian A g r i - M a r k e t i n g
Federation award winner, is the new face      experience, including seven years as an         awards.
at AdFarm.                                    agricultural journalist and seven years            Prior to being a Manager of Public
                                              agricultural agency experience. He has          Relations for Adculture Group, Tobin was
                                             worked with clients in a wide range of           Managing Editor and Field Editor for
                                             industries – from seed, crop protection and      Farm and Country magazine and
                                             farm retail to animal health and aquacul-        Managing Editor for Pork Producer maga-
                                             ture.                                            zine. He has also contributed to T h e
                                                 A native of Newfoundland, Tobin holds        Canadian Sport s m a n, To ronto Life a n d
                                             a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism         Trot Magazine on a freelance basis.




                                             Annex Publishing & Printing Inc.
                                             acquires Manure Manager magazine
                                                                                              now publishes 26 national and internation-

                                                A
                                                            nnex Publishing & Printing Inc.
                                                            is pleased to announce the        al trade and special interest magazines,
                                                            acquisition of Manure Manager     prints over 91 North American publica-
                                             magazine from Vancouver based Manure             tions in its Simcoe, Ontario based printing
                                             Manager Partnership.                             plant and operates a national distribution
                                                 Manure Manager magazine reaches the          centre for technical books and videos.
                                             decision-makers in intensive livestock           Annex is also a partner in Nanaimo, BC
                                             operations in the US and Canada... the           based Point One Media which publishes
                                             owners and managers who deal with                business journals, produces digital publica-
                                             manure issues and make critical decisions        tions and directories, and provides a suite
                                             on handling, storage and application of this     of web-based business tools.
                                             critical agricultural resource. The magazine        M a n u re Manager will be published
                                             is published six times a year and is             from Annex’s Exeter, Ontario based office,
                                             received by more than 15,000 readers.            which is responsible for five other titles in
                                                 A n n e x ’s agricultural publications       the Annex family.
                                             include Top Crop Manager, C a n a d i a n           For further information contact:
                                             P o u l t ry, F ruit & Vegetable Magazine,          PETER DARBISHIRE
                                             G reenhouse Canada and D r a i n a g e               Group Publisher
                                             Contractor.                                         Annex Publishing & Printing Inc.
                                                 As a result of the acquisition, Annex           (519) 235-2400
                                                                                                 THE FARM JOURNALIST, MARCH 2007 6


Manitoba Co-operator and Farmers’ Independent Weekly
join forces
                                                                                                     Source: February 6, 2007 news release.
                                                   The Farmers’ Independent Weekly was            the company.

   F
          arm Business Communications
          (FBC) and Farmers’ Independent        founded in 2002 by former staff of the               Under FBC’s new management struc-
          Weekly (FIW) have announced           Manitoba Co-operator. FIW P u b l i s h e r       ture, John Morriss will become Associate
that they are joining forces to produce a       JOHN MORRISS said “the owner-opera-               Publisher and Editorial Director of FBC,
single weekly publication for Manitoba          tors of FIW welcome the opportunity to            Lynda Tityk will become Director of Sales
farmers. Glacier Ventures International         join forces and benefit from the new              and Circulation for FBC and Tom Mumby
Corp. (Glacier), owner of FBC, has              resources available.”                             will become Director of Marketing &
acquired FIW. Editorial and management             FBC publisher Bob Willcox stated that          Business      Development,           Glacier
staff of both organizations will be integrat-   FBC will use the additional resources to          Agricultural Communications Group.
ed and the merged publication will contin-      enhance its content and service to readers           Subscribers of the C o - o p e r a t o r a n d
ue under the masthead of the Manitoba           and advertisers, and that the acquisition of      FIW will continue to receive the merged
Co-operator by the end of February.             FIW builds on other recent initiatives by         publication.



 Canadian students gain fresh perspective on ag
 communications study tour in Belize
                                                thirteen students across the country, from        edge back home to their parents who are

   M
              embers of the Canadian
              Agricultural Communicators        the rainforest city of San Ignacio to the         farmers themselves. For example, at one
              of Tomorrow and students of       relaxed island of Caye Caulker.                   small rural school, the agriculture teacher
the agricultural communications class at           Students were submerged into Mayan             was explaining to his seven-year-old stu-
the University of Guelph had their eyes         culture, including the painted caves, aban-       dents not to water the leaves of the plants.
opened when they visited the developing         doned ruins and currently inhabited vil-          The high chlorine content in Belize water
country of Belize to learn about the coun-      lages. They also experienced Belizean             burns the leaves when it dries in the hot
try’s agriculture, with a special focus on      agriculture by visiting a cacao farm and a        sun. Having students share this knowledge
communications, extension and education.        botanical garden, and met a refuge dairy          with their parents may improve their home
After witnessing the challenges Belizeans       farmer who escaped from Guatemala. In             production practices.
face with education, farming and basic liv-     Belize, agricultural extension is vital to the       The education component of the tour
ing conditions, students found it hard to       survival of rural families. Elementary            was to give presentations on Belizean agri-
justify any complaints they had about life      school teachers work with students to pro-        culture and record a daily blog. Vi s i t
in Canada.                                      duce their own multi-plot gardens. From           www.belize2007.canact.ca for more infor-
   Led by Owen Roberts, the trip took           here, the young children bring their knowl-       mation about the trip and to view the blogs.


  REPORTS. AWARD OPPORTUNITIES. FIRSTS. MEMBER NEWS. WRITING AND
  PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TIPS. TRAVEL STORIES. . . PASS IT ALONG!

  Please send your contributions, for publication in the next issue of
  The Farm Journalist, to: Connie Duivenvoorden:
  agrofare@telus.net; Tel: 604-541-3964.

				
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