WP staff recognized for excellent work

The Western Producer is read all over the world, both in print and online. Now, we’re also recognized in a far-flung part of the world in a different way.

Our Calgary bureau’s Barb Duckworth recently placed second in the 2014 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Star Prize for print journalism.

The awards were announced during the association’s congress in Hamilton, New Zealand, in October. Duckworth was honoured for her story, “Do happy animals earn you more money?”

For the story, Duckworth travelled to The Netherlands with a Canadian farm tour group, where she met farmers who explained how they make their animals more comfortable, which improves their behaviour.

The award judges said Duckworth’s article was a “topic of great importance which resonates more and more in Europe as well as in the Americas. Barbara’s style is factual, argumentation simple and understandable supported by farmers’ experience. It was a complex topic but so easy to read as facts and historical background unfolded — very skillful writer.”

True enough. She explained that one Dutch farmer keeps his sows together as a family in individual pens and uses natural light.

Another farmer explained that 50 percent of males are no longer castrated, giving them better feed conversion and faster growth.

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In September, three Western Producer journalists were honoured by the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation.

Producer managing editor Michael Raine, whose name is no stranger to awards in the ag industry, earned silver in the Press Column category for his column writing skills.

Barb Glen from our Lethbridge bureau won bronze in the Weekly Press Reporting category for her story, “When squatters strike,” which explained how an Alberta farmer lost a 10-acre parcel of land to squatters after losing a court ruling. That story was one of the highest-read items on The Western Producer’s website last year.

And Producer photographer William DeKay won silver in the news photograph category for his shots of a gas explosion during last year’s harvest at a TransGas pumping station near Prud’Homme, Sask.

Winners were chosen by 25 judges from across Canada and the United States.

Contact brian.macleod@producer.com

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