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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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- email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com or interest days. Thanks to Bob Mitchell, VP The BC Agriculture Council presents firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 604-541-3964.