Producer staff recognized for top journalism

Three Western Producer writers were acknowledged for their contributions to agricultural journalism in the 2014 North American Agricultural Journalists contest recently.

The Producer’s Brian Cross earned second place in the Series category for stories he wrote documenting the grain transportation problems last year. Cross, based in our Saskatoon newsroom, is a veteran reporter with The Producer who covers the transportation beat. (Those stories can be accessed at bit.ly/1JRwHJm.) The category was judged by Jane Schmucker of the Toledo Blade.

Barb Glen, one of The Producer’s editorial board members, won third place for three editorials she wrote last year. “Data on losses by wildlife may improve compensation” discussed the cost to farmers of hosting wildlife on their properties. In “Environmental policy must favour common sense, not fear,” Barb, who is based in our Lethbridge bureau, discussed the effects of a federal emergency protection order for sage grouse, and what it means to landowners. In her editorial, “Federal funding adds credibility to animal welfare research,” Barb expressed disappointment at Ottawa’s retreat from animal welfare research.

The category was judged by Bloomberg News reporter Joe Carroll.

And our markets reporter, Ed White, who is based in our Winnipeg bureau, was given an honorable mention for three columns.

In “Railways need crop forecasting assistance to plan service,” Ed expressed his dismay that railway companies are too reliant on government estimates of crop sizes. In “Profits will be harder to find in future markets,” Ed warned that pending financial markets for farmers is “not nice, it’s not easy and it will destroy some….” And in “Farmers need first-hand market assessment,” White observed that “it’s possible that Canada has thrown away its grain quality advantage and farmers don’t even know it. The article proved to be prescient as grain quality in transportation is proving to be a subject of debate.

What is impressive about these awards is the depth and understanding that Barb, Brian and Ed showed in their writing. Their articles go deep into how farmers will be affected. If you missed them the first time, they’re all available on The Producer’s website at producer.com.

brian.macleod@producer.com

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