The Western Producer’s journalists were recognized in six of the eight awards categories presented by the North American Agricultural Journalists last week in Washington D.C.
The NAAJ is a continent-wide organization that aims to “promote the highest ideals of journalism and agriculture.” Judges of the 2018 awards are seasoned veterans in agricultural writing.
Reporter Ed White from Winnipeg once again earned top spot in the columnists category, which encourages writers to “express personal observations, humour or feelings,” according to NAAJ guidelines. Ed won for his AgriCulture columns, which look at the culture of farming in Canada. Ed’s pieces covered the lives of farmyard dogs, and the emerging image of farming as a respected profession and overcoming old stereotypes.
Ed also received an honourable mention for feature story writing and third place for his online blog, which can be found at producer.com.
The Producer’s Lethbridge-based livestock editor, Barb Glen, took top spot for editorial writing. The NAAJ says editorials must “build arguments on fact and logic” and “state a position and convince the reader of the need for action.” Barb wrote about policing livestock abuse, educating urbanites on the realities of farming and the armed forces’ role in the September fire in southern Alberta.
Yours truly placed third in editorials covering deferred cash purchases, industry use of misleading food labels and the Saskatchewan government’s tenuous position on climate change.
The Producer’s machinery writer, Ron Lyseng, placed second in the special projects category, which “takes reporting to a higher level,” and “shows careful planning and enterprise,” according to the NAAJ. Ron won for his eye-opening presentation of five stories on the use of brakes on farm equipment.
And our news team of William DeKay, Barb Glen and Karen Briere, who covered the Alberta wildfires last fall, received an honourable mention in spot news.
Two reporters, who work for Glacier FarmMedia — which owns The Western Producer, the Manitoba Co-operator, the Alberta Farmer Express, Country Guide and Grain News — were also recognized for their work. The Co-operator’s Allan Dawson won first place in the news category, and Lisa Guenther of Country Guide earned third place in the feature writing category.