Members of the Delisle and District Volunteer Fire Department (DDVFD) prepare for redeployment after putting out some hot spots east of Duperow Road, southwest of Biggar, Sask. on the morning of Tuesday April 23. The DDVFD has members in satellite departments in both Pike Lake and the R.M. of Montrose. Members from all three halls responded to a call for mutual aid from the Biggar Fire Department that was received at 4:45 a.m. April 23. | Paul Yanko photo

How I helped fight a wildfire near Biggar

I had the privilege of meeting some really nice people last week. It started with a state of emergency. My fellow volunteer firefighters from Delisle and I were called out to provide “mutual aid” at 4:45 a.m. on April 23 to assist the Biggar Fire Department with an out-of-control wildfire southwest of town. Winds were […] Read more

A firefighter from the Delisle and District Volunteer Fire Department works to extinguish a fast-moving brush fire. | Paul Yanko photo

Where there’s smoke

A grass fire kept firefighters busy last week southwest of Biggar, Sask. Paul Yanko, who works in The Western Producer’s editorial department, is also a member of the Delisle and District Volunteer Fire Department and helped fight the fire April 23. He took these photos and video.

Bipole III draws comments at producer.com

It’s not often that you’ll hear a politician speak candidly, especially one only recently elected to office. But Manitoba’s premiere-elect, Brian Pallister, doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy to mince words. Barely a day after Pallister and his Progressive Conservative party swept to victory in the April 19 Manitoba election, Pallister had this […] Read more


Readers offer some advice for the Producer

Western Producer managing editor Michael Raine recently asked our readers to share what they thought about our paper. Response mostly came in the form of text messages, tweets and emails. Readers generally suggested they enjoy the paper’s content. Many said producer.com serves as an important source of information for their farms, mentioning its daily news […] Read more

Some for, some against researcher’s views on glyphosate

In case it wasn’t already abundantly clear, a couple chemical-related stories in last week’s paper provided a vivid illustration of one subject that continually gets our readers talking online. First came reporter Robert Arnason’s profile of University of Sask-atchewan professor John Giesy, a leading expert on the subject of toxicology, and his views on glyphosate. […] Read more


Reader questions decision to cover wheat board meeting

It’s been nearly four years since the Canadian Wheat Board lost its single desk marketing powers, but recent news of a possible revival sparked a flurry of social media activity on The Western Producer’s website. Robert Arnason, one of our Manitoba reporters, wrote about a meeting in Swan River, Man., Feb. 10 that saw a […] Read more

Why do we like people stories? The answer may shock you

We have a running joke around the editorial department here at WP World HQ: it revolves around the headlines used on online “click bait” type stories designed to capture your attention. “Man climbs mountain.… You’ll never believe what happens next…” “A woman tries to hug a leopard, the reason why will make you cry…” Or […] Read more

Celebrity still rules in the quest for truth about food

I wrote a few weeks ago in this column about not confusing popularity with expertise in social media. Last week, Manitoba reporter Robert Arnason offered a shining example of this unfortunate phenomenon. It all began in January when Jillian Harris, former star on the popular TV show The Bachelorette and native of Peace River, Alta., […] Read more


Anonymous online comments draw fire

I’ve been around the internet and newspapers long enough to remember what a fundamental shift it was when we began to foster conversations both with and among our readers about the stories we produce. Seems at least some of those conversations weren’t all they were cracked up to be. Recently, a number of media outlets […] Read more

Social media plays role in fanning food fear

A story by Western Producer reporter Sean Pratt on page 63 of this week’s paper holds some good lessons for those of us who work, or spend any time, in the world of social media. Pratt’s story talks about how the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission intends to use social media to help dispel some common […] Read more