Western Producer journalists have been recognized around the world for their work, and this year’s North American Agricultural Journalists awards competition kept that record going.
Five members of the Producer’s newsroom were honoured in four categories.
The news team of Barb Glen, Robert Arnason and Ed White won first place in the Special Projects category for a special report on supply management. Journalism in this category “takes reporting to a higher level,” demonstrating “careful planning and enterprise.”
Barb and Robert travelled to the northern United States to chat with dairy farmers to get their views on supply management in Canada, and to outline the issues facing them during tough times for dairy there. Ed weighed in with stories on supply management in Canada. Together, they produced 11 stories, run over two weeks in late September. All this was done with a looming deadline for the North American Free Trade Agreement talks in which supply management featured prominently.
Managing Editor Michael Raine also contributed research to provide information for a front-page graphic produced by Creative Director Michelle Houlden on the prices of dairy products in cities along the U.S.-Canada border.
The judge in this category wrote that WP journalists provided “comprehensive reporting on a very complicated issue made easy to understand through great writing and organization. An issue of great importance to agriculture.”
Robin Booker took third place in the features category for his piece “Faking it: The great honey robbery.” Robin’s work outlined how counterfeit honey threatened to upend the industry. The judge in the category wrote, “learned much about something I didn’t even realize was an issue.”
Ed White took third place in the columns category. Ed is no stranger to analysis pieces. He placed first in the previous two years, and he blogs on The Producer’s website. Ed’s entry included columns on security on the farm, a new sense of openness in discussing farm issues, and the use of social media as a showcase for farming. The judge wrote that Ed’s columns “provide readers with an interesting perspective on changing aspects of farm life.”
Finally, yours truly placed second for editorial writing, for the following editorials: