The Western Producer, like most publications, has one foot on each side of a street.
One side is where journalists live and work; the other is where the community they cover exists.
The reporters and editors are paid to observe, analyze and report. Even when they want to, they can’t cheer or condemn what they see, except in the limited venue of these few opinion pages.
We try to keep open minds, even if we might not agree.
On the other side of the street are our folks who build the publication, market our product and sell our ads.
They work hard to sell what the journalists build.
They can cheer on agriculture and openly support the industry that feeds us all.
One of our duties as a successful agricultural business is to support agricultural organizations and their events, charitable and otherwise. Sponsorships vary, from cash to in-kind donations such as providing advertising space.
Last weekend a pair of well-known research centres, AgWest Bio and Genome Prairie, approached me.
Those research institutes were concerned that The Western Producer was sponsoring an upcoming agricultural industry event where some of the speakers are known for their questionable science.
The presenters are opposed to genetic modification of plants and animals for food production and tend to be against large-scale, commercial agriculture.
As a sponsor of an event where diverse opinions are shared, we don’t take an editorial position.
Our marketing folks look at the value that a conference might deliver to the agricultural community and to our business and decide on sponsorship.
In this case it is about organic agriculture, a small, but vital and growing sector.
Our sponsorship isn’t an endorsement of the event’s speakers, nor would we want to silence dissenting voices by refusing sponsorship.
We support the discussion, hoping it informs you.
If you feel these voices threaten our industry, we offer and encourage you to use these pages to express those positions.