Every once in a while, we let readers know about award competitions that The Western Producer participates in. We do so to let readers know where the Producer’s efforts sit relative to other agricultural publications.
As it turns out, the Producer, along with our parent company, Glacier FarmMedia, had a good year in the 2016 Northern American Agricultural Journalist writing awards.
Ed White, from our Winnipeg bureau, won the columns category. The judge liked Ed’s approach to his monthly column, AgriCULTURE, in which he discusses the culture of farming. The judge in this category found Ed’s columns a “delight,” noting that “White delves into issues that, while many may wonder about, few take the time to explore. Boots, radio stations and cemeteries all are grist for his entertaining mill.”
Laura Rance, editorial director of Glacier FarmMedia, placed second, for columns in the Manitoba Co-operator (owned by GFM).
Producer managing editor Michael Raine and reporter Robin Booker received honourable mentions: Raine for a column about the average age of Canadian farmers and Booker for columns on research that is not made public, the wilful deceit of some information sources and on how online peer pressure affects marketing plans.
In the editorials category, the Producer’s livestock editor, Barb Glen, placed second, notably for a piece headlined “Farmers Trump Scientists” as well as two others. The judge commented that “the angle of farmer’s finding their voice to generate trust and connection with their customers is timely and engaging to the publication audience, has broad impact and serves as a persuasive interpretation of the state of public opinion. Barb Glen’s writing style enlightens and empowers skillfully.”
Rance placed third, while yours truly was given an honourable mention in this category.
Robert Arnason received an honourable mention in the news category for his story “Herbicide Use spikes in Alberta,” which noted that an American study found that genetically modified crops have dramatically increased the amount of herbicides applied to soybeans.
For special projects, Glacier FarmMedia/Producer reporters Ed White, Lisa Guenther, Barb Glen, Shannon VanRaes, Caroline Cooper, Paul Harris and Laura Rance received an honourable mention for work on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.