Interns get inside view of ag journalism

Part of any good journalism education is an internship with a larger news organization. It’s an opportunity to put the skills and experience gathered over several years of university or college to work in a real-time environment.

The Western Producer has had many interns in the more than 25 years I have been here. Often from the journalism program at the University of Regina.

And some of your now-veteran reporters at The Western Producer began their careers as interns with us. Names like Sean Pratt come to mind, along with newer additions such as Robin Booker have found homes on our team.

Our most recent intern has been Harrison Brooks. With more about 40 assignments under his belt in the last three months, Harrison has proven to be a productive member of our crew this season. Within a day of starting, I strolled up to his desk and asked if he had a car that was road-worthy. We are in a business where newsworthy events often take place in inconvenient locations.

I told him that if he left right away, and didn’t stop for lunch, he should make it on time to the location where the story was taking place, in four hours.

I handed him the camera, which he has just now returned to me, three months later, as his internship has ended. It was an abrupt start to his time with us. Just like most things in agriculture these days, there is no shortage of work to do, just the people, and sometimes the money, to do it.

Mr. Brooks has been a great example of an engaged reporter. In his short tenure with us he has written features about sheep shows and autonomous field robotics, profiled the region’s father of agricultural medicine, strategies to create premium beef for European markets and scientists seeking pollinator-safe insecticides and better understandings of rain events.

He followed wild pigs and looked at the latest ways to apply manure. He did business stories about ethanol and examined the Canadian Foodgrains Bank projects, interviewing farmers and agricultural business leaders.

We don’t have much in the way of easy work around here, but we do have lots of work. From outside of agriculture looking in, one might wonder if all of it falls into the category of “essential business information.”

From the inside, we know it all does.

We wish the talented Mr. Brooks well.

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