Newspaper journalism has faced a digital tsunami

The internet and social media are cool, but the right-side/wrong-side journalism it has created are a curse

When I showed up at The Western Producer in November 1994 I was handed a Macintosh laptop and shown how the company email system worked. That was pretty cool. Instead of being shackled to a boxy desktop computer, I could take my sleek laptop wherever I was reporting from, plug into a phone line and […] Read more

Toban Dyck is learning how to harness the power of Instagram.  |  Ed White photo

Social media provides perfect showcase for farming

This is the first in a series of AgriCulture columns about farmers who use Instagram. When Toban Dyck took off for downtown Toronto in the late 2000s, he didn’t glance back at the southern Manitoba farm he was leaving behind. Now he can’t keep his eyes and cameras off of it. “When I moved away […] Read more

In a paper published March 8 in the journal Science, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that untruths posted on Twitter spread more rapidly and reached many more people than true information. | Screencap via

Lies spread faster online than the truth: study

MIT research may explain why it can be hard to change people’s minds on the safety of GM food and pesticides

As it turns out, there’s a reason why some people believe that vaccines cause autism, exposure to glyphosate causes Alzheimer’s disease and genetically modified food causes allergies. The reason is that lies spread faster than truth, especially on social media. In a paper published March 8 in the journal Science, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute […] Read more

Kasey Bryant, left, Elizabeth Jack, Natasha Mortenson and Kassi Tom-Rowland tell DTN Ag Summit delegates about their experiences using social media on their farms.  |  Sean Pratt photo

More farms embrace social media focus

CHICAGO, Ill. — If you want to generate traffic on your social media platform, post a picture of a Jersey cow wagging its tongue, or better yet a tractor, any tractor. “People love equipment like gangbusters,” said Kassi Tom-Rowland, a partner with Tom Farms, a row crop farm in Leesburg, Indiana. Tom-Rowland was part of […] Read more

Christie Pollack launched Christie’s Gardens and Greenhouses in 2013. She uses social media to educate customers through contests and demonstrations and holds do-it-yourself classes. She also hosts bridal showers, parties and fashion shows.
|  Facebook photo

Greenhouse owner in spotlight

HIGH PRAIRIE, Alta. — Christie Pollack’s enthusiasm for her business and her community is infectious. It has “infected” three other businesses in this northwestern Alberta town to the point where they plan to launch the Discover Our Spaces website Nov. 1. It will feature products from Christie’s Gardens and Greenhouses, Magpie Bait (fashion accessories), Kitchen […] Read more

Producers encouraged farmers attending the Southwest Agricultural conference to tell others about their farm through stories, photos or videos.  |  File photo

Facebook, YouTube put farming on the map

LONDON, Ont. — Presenting a genuine image of today’s modern agriculture is of paramount importance to Andrew Campbell and Greg Peterson. Campbell has been posting daily cellphone photographs on FaceBook from his dairy farm near London, Ont., while Peterson, together with siblings Nathan, Kendall and Laura, have been releasing parody musical videos on YouTube from […] Read more

In January Jillian Harris announced in a blog post that she has stopped eating meat and severely cut back on dairy products. She made the choice because it's

Celebrity’s anti-meat rant highlights power of social media

If Canadian beef and dairy producers want to know what they’re up against when it comes to public perceptions, a good place to start is Jillian Harris, who grew up in Peace River, Alta., became famous when she starred as the bachelorette on the popular TV show, The Bachelorette. She now stars on the […] Read more

Some thoughtful comments on the controversial Bill 6

The outcry over the Alberta government’s proposals to change farm labour standards continues to rile our readers online. However, the knee-jerk reactions that were so prominent when Bill 6 was first introduced have given way to more reasoned thought. A reader named Paul writes: “(I) was able to attend the meeting held in Bassano. One […] Read more

Farmer-built robot tractor catches readers’ attention

Every once in a while you just know a story is going to be well received. Such was the case when I received an email from WP managing editor Michael Raine a couple weeks ago. Raine is normally a pretty cool customer, part and parcel — I imagine — of the many responsibilities he shoulders […] Read more

After five active years on social media, Sarah Schultz is becoming a woman of influence advocating for agriculture. | Screencap

Mommy blogger aims to dispel myths, answer questions about farming

After five active years on social media, Sarah Schultz is becoming a woman of influence advocating for agriculture. Her Nurse Loves Farmer blog,, is gaining momentum as she goes to bat for genetically modified crops, defends wheat as part of a healthy diet and takes on big corporations like Starbucks and A&W restaurants. All […] Read more