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ECFWA - The Nib- June 2016
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The Nib - October 2016

Prez says

by Sharon Grose, ECFWA President
 
We had our first ever, Central Ontario regional social at the Hastings County Plowing Match back in August. It was great to see some new faces out to the event.  This was the first time that the match was held north of highway 7. Over 20,000 people attended the match. Hasting County has the only two-day plowing match in the province.  

Members of the media were invited to plow (see photos below). Following plowing, and a tour of the match site ECFWA visitors joined in a round table discussion and brainstorming with Katherine Sedgwick. We had an international visitor join the event. Ruby Hsu Ning Jui a Taiwan 4H exchange student plowed and joined the lunch time round table discussion. Check out Karen Dallimore’s article about Sedgwick in this newsletter.
 
On behalf of ECFWA, I’d like to extend a hearty thank you to Suzanne Atkinson for organizing such a great event.   I encourage ECFWA members to support these local events- it is a great way to get to know ECFWA members.
 
It was great to see ECFWA members at Canada's Outdoor Farm Show, The International Plowing Match and at the Canadian Farm Writers Federation (CFWF) Conference in Saskatoon. This newsletter contains highlights from CFWF.

Please continue to check the ECFWA Facebook page and Twitter account for information about upcoming events. Kim Coyle (newsletter editor/social media) is working on updating the format.

Hope you take some time to enjoy the beautiful colours of fall.



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Mark your calendars!  Join host Meaghan Ryersee for an upcoming regional social/tour and professional development session on November 23rd in St. Jacobs.  Please see full details below. 

When:               Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Where:              Quarry Integrated Communications
                          1440 King Street North, St. Jacobs, ON
Time:                 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Cost:                Free for members
                         $10 for non-members
 
Agenda:
Tour of Quarry where attendees will learn about the:
 
·         Heritage of the Quarry campus, including the FELT Lab
·         Quarry’s agriculture roots
·         How the company’s rigorous approach to seeing “The Customer” and the differences between client’s customers, has helped the agency enjoy 40+ years of success in the marketing industry
·         Trends within the agriculture industry as told directly by veteran strategists, Bob Wilbur and Naheed  Somji
 
Professional Development
·         Major Keys to Social Media Measurement

Speaker bios
About Bob Wilbur
Bob brings marketing strategy to life based on a combination of marketplace and customer insight, creative ideation and strategic perspective. As a long standing Quarry teammate, Bob has devoted his career to agricultural and animal health marketing, both in Canada and the US, from East to West. 

Bob has applied his planning and communication expertise across a broad spectrum of business: crop protection, seed, animal health (livestock and companion animal) finance, equipment and organizations that represent producers and the industry. And he has had the privilege to work with major brands such as Syngenta, NK Seed, BASF, Novartis Animal Health, Elanco Animal Health and Proven Seed.

About Naheed Somji
Naheed’s passion is marketing; his medium is social media. He thrives in challenging environments that require creative thinking and out-of-the-box solutions.

'Content marketing'​ and 'audience engagement'​ aren't just buzzwords to me, they are what he does daily. Under Naheed’s stewardship, Quarry has been named one of the Top 100 Content Marketing Brands of 2015 and a Top 10 B2B Marketing Brand. He develops and manages social media campaigns for Quarry and its clients: Syngenta Canada, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Autism Services Waterloo Region, and Turkey Farmers of Canada.
 
About Quarry
Quarry specializes in transforming brands at two inflection points. 1) Brands poised for expansion; 2) Brands facing disruption. Located in the heart of St. Jacobs, Ontario, Quarry is a full-service buyer experience agency for savvy marketers who want to transform their business brand. Founded in 1973, Quarry has helped major agriculture brands like BASF, Syngenta Canada, Novartis Animal Health and John Deere connect with their customers with powerful story-telling, impactful design and valuable content, conveyed in engaging new ways.


A pay your own way dinner will follow afterward.  Location to be determined.

If you are interested to attend, please RSVP by November 16 to Meaghan Ryersee at
Meaghan.ryersee@syngenta.com or 519-837-5916.  



We look forward to seeing you in St. Jacobs!

 
 
 
The popular Eastern Canada Farm Writers' Association photo contest will run again in 2017.  The categories will remain the same as last year - People, Place and Things. 

While the rules and conditions are being finalized, please continue to keep those cameras rolling!  Capture your best Canadian agriculture and farm photos.

Updates on the photo contest will be provided as they are available and posted on the website at
http://www.ecfwa.ca/photo-contest

If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Dupuis at (514)858-2044  patrick.dupuis@lacoop.coop
 
 
 
A big welcome to our 5 newest members:
  • Jennifer Christie, 4-H Canada
  • Brandie Cowen, Annex Business Media
  • Lindsey Ehman, Grain Growers of Canada
  • Ralph Pearce, FBC/Glacier Farm Media/Country Guide
  • Denise Proulx
Keep sharing the good news of membership of ECFWA!
 
 
Ten years from now, as the media industry itself changes at light speed, who will be the farm writers – the agricultural communicators – of the future? How will they tell the story of agriculture?

Katherine Sedgewick grew up in Queensborough, ON, near the site of the 2016 Hastings County Plowing Match and Farm Show.  She met at the show with members of the Eastern Canada Farm Writers’ Association to lead a discussion about the future of agricultural journalism, investigating the question of both the ‘who’ and the ‘how’.
 
Sedgewick is a Professor of Journalism, On-line Print and Broadcasting at Loyalist College in Belleville. Her goal is to turn out the kind of graduate that she used to hire as the former Deputy Editor of the Montreal Gazette.  The raw material that she has been given to mold into journalists is typically now the millenial generation, tasked with kneading their talents and skills into a profession.

She’s noted three things about these budding journalists.

Number one, they use their phone for absolutely everything. “We have to respond to that.”  

Two, young people have no concept of geography, which may sound strange but in practical terms, it will be reflected in many aspects of the job, such as finding their way to an assignment or reflecting regional coverage of issues. Basically, they can’t read a map.

Number three: she has also found that these young people are not naturally curious. “Millenials tend to be focused on themselves,” said Sedgewick, who, as a curious journalist, would find herself pulling off the road to investigate possible stories along the way. These youngsters tend to not care if the story doesn’t affect them – they have to be taught to be curious.

What media tools will they use? “Our students need to do it all,” said Sedgewick: video, newscasts on radio, written articles and all forms of social media. They will undoubtedly have to think on their feet too, to adapt to the ever-changing opportunities to communicate with their audience and to meet the expectations of their employers, changing at the speed of light. “Journalism is different now from when I walked in here,” said Sedgewick, “The ground is shifting under us.”

But although the technology may be changing and the generations are changing, to her, the job remains the same: to bridge a gap and try to get into the mind of the audience. She sees story telling as one of the deepest human needs – after food, water and shelter, people need stories.  

As for the audience, it used to be that a publication would appeal to a community, but now that definition of community is changing. It’s no longer a regional community but rather a “community of interest”. She predicts that the publications that recognize this evolution will survive.  

Sedgewick sees a bright future in video production, noting that there is a huge demand at the moment. Blogs are good too; her own blog, ‘Meanwhile, at the Manse’, allows her freedom to write whatever she pleases. “It’s not like work when you’re passionate about a topic,” telling us that by writing freely and with passion the experts will find you, doing what you do best.

“Find a story, tell the story,” said the veteran. “That’s how you touch people.” That hasn’t changed.

Eleven members and guests of the ECFWA received a warm welcome at the Regional Social in Hastings County, northeast of Peterborough. It was the first time the event had been held ‘North of 7’ – an Eastern Ontario area known to be challenging to farming – at the generational dairy farm of Don and Angus McKinnon near Queensborough, attracting an estimated 20,000 visitors.

Four Ontario Farmer writers plowed furrows in the media plowing competition, with Sharon Grose finishing second and Karen Dallimore finishing third in a field of 12, rounded out by straight furrows from Suzanne Atkinson and Diana Martin.

Thank you to local farm writer Suzanne Atkinson for organizing and hosting.
      

Photos taken by Sharon Grose
 
Approximately 100 farm writers from across country attended The Canadian Farm Writers' Federation (CFWF) Annual Conference which took place in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from September 28th to October 1st, 2016.  The event ‘Saskatchewan Surprise’ was hosted by the Saskatchewan Farm Writers’ Association.

On the first evening, conference delegates were transported by bus to the Western Development Museum for opening speeches and dinner, followed by a scavenger hunt around the museum.

The first full-day of the conference was a busy and early morning start as participants boarded buses (or bikes), to head out on several farm/agricultural tours, which showcased various types of farms and agricultural related businesses and how they operate and how they are unique.  Below is an overview of the tours. 

The take away message on the south tour was that Saskatchewan is not just “Big Ag”.  It is also small, smart, intensified, diversified agriculture. The tour began at Rhodes Berries, where the 84-year-old owner talked about moving from England to Canada when he was 70 years old and changing his career from electrician to farmer.  He talked about the raspberries, black currants and Saskatoon berries he grows and how this year has been an amazing crop with large, juicy berries that were ready to pick beginning in late June and were still going when we visited. The next stop was at an organic flax and oat farm, followed by a presentation from representatives from Pro Cert Organics about the history and why organic production is an economically viable option.  Next up, was the Berry Barn, a popular family run operation, where guests enjoyed a delicious lunch.  The places visited during the afternoon included a tree farm as well as a corn silage field.  This was followed by a presentation by the Chair of Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association who highlighted the importance and need for increased irrigation development to produce high value crops.

 
A second bus (the West Tour) is described as follows.  Brothers Matthew and Nick Scarf don’t golf. They do own a golf course near Purdue, SK, but they lease it out. “It’s a bit crazy,” Matt told the CFWF West Tour, sponsored by CropLife.
 
The brothers have to be careful not to overburden themselves. Their father, Jim, was driven too. His EZEEWrap distribution centre is still a bustling family run business that ships pallets of plastic wrap dispensers across the country. Along with their uncle, a cousin and two workers, Matt and Nick farm 13,000 acres of canola and lentils nearby.
 
 Just west of Biggar, Shawn Stevenson greeted us at the new P&H grain terminal known as Hanover Junction. (New York is big but this is Biggar). There, an 8,000-ton concrete house and 25,000 tons of flat storage are serviced by CN rail and truck, with access to the CP rail lines in development.
 
The fog cleared after a fine lunch at the Oasis Golf Course. We travelled up a grid road leading to the Eagle Creek Hutterite Colony, where a few dozen curious school children joined Katie Wurz as our tour guides. They opened their homes and hearts to us, serenading us with song as we wrapped up our visit.
 
The third tour option was to hop on a bike and pedal along the Meewasin Trail and visit several science/agricultural related spots around the University of Saskatchewan.  To begin the day, cyclists toured Rayner Dairy Facility, which included a milking parlour and each cow has their own feed bin equipped with RFID technology.  Topics discussed included dairy production and research.  Not too far away was the Ryan/Dube Equine Performance Facility, where guests saw a standing MRI machine and other innovation technologies, including how to evaluate horse lameness. Before lunch the participants tour the veterinarian clinic of the University where small and big animals can be treated.   In the afternoon, the highlight of the tour was the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron, which is used by researchers for projects like corn disease; nutrient management and to study soil. During the visit it would have been no surprise to see Sheldon Cooper, from the Big bang theory TV show, greet the guest!

Saturday started early, with Monsanto Bursary presentations by Sharon Grose and Trevor Bacque followed by an open discussion among the regional associations, all of whom agreed that attracting new journalists to our industry was paramount.
 
Freelance panel presenters were positive about the role of freelance writers, agreeing that they won’t starve, there is work, and to earn a living requires treating your job as a business.  Editors on the second panel agreed that there was no one answer to making a story into news: know your customer and audience, avoid the ‘splatter’ approach and time your query appropriately. If you can’t explain why your story matters, it doesn’t.
 
The guest speakers included molecular evolutionary biologist Dr. Tim Sharbel explaining why sex is a stupid way of reproduction and how his research is exploring the genetic traits of organisms that have opted out. Variations occur naturally – what turns them on?
 
Dr. John Campbell followed, providing an overview of the myths and facts about antibiotic use in animal agriculture.  Antibiotic resistance is a global issue, said Campbell, with significant gaps in surveillance worldwide. He acknowledged the public confusion about antibiotic resistance versus antibiotic residues, but explained that stopping antibiotic use in animal agriculture is not the answer to such a complex problem.
 
Wrapping up was award-winning craft winemaker Sue Echlin of Living Sky Winery. She knew that people would try their wines out of curiosity but would only return for quality, a mantra that she must have repeated in her head as she pulled 34,000 pounds of rhubarb by hand this year. Like the canola fields along an endless Saskatchewan highway, she sees a limitless horizon for the wine and spirit producers in the province.

The combination and balance of tours, professional development sessions, networking/social opportunities are key aspects of what make the event a huge success.

Follow the twitter conservation at #CFWF16


Photos in first collage taken by Kimberley Coyle
Photos in second collage taken by Sharon Grose 
 
by Kimberley Coyle
 
Let’s take a couple of minutes to get to know one of our members a little bit better.  Courtney Denard is a full-time Field Reporter with Ontario Farmer, Owner of Cow Spot Communications, Vice President of Valleykirk Farms (50 head dairy farm) and Board Member with the Eastern Canadian Farm Writers’ Association. 

Courtney grew up in Foxboro, Ontario (just outside of Belleville) with her Mom and older brother and older sister.  She went to the University of Guelph where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Rural Sociology and then a Master’s of Science degree in Rural Extension Studies and started working in the Ontario agriculture sector in her mid-20s. In 2008 she moved to the farm in Owen Sound and in 2009 quit her job to become a full-time freelance writer. She was terrified to take this leap but was lucky enough to get a steady stream of freelance work right away.  In 2010, Ontario Farmer Publications offered her a full-time staff position as a Field Reporter.
 
When asked what a typical day is like, Courtney said she starts the day by checking emails, Twitter and Facebook which then transitions into following up on story leads, calling sources, setting up interviews, completing interviews (usually over the phone), and then writing articles. On top of that, she runs the farm with her husband Rob and his parents, so there is always work to do in that capacity.
 
Courtney has always had a deep love for farming and agriculture, which is perhaps a little unfounded because she did not grow up on a farm nor did anyone in her immediate family. It’s just something that’s always been in her heart for as far back as she can remember. “It’s a little cheesy to say but it’s like I fell in love with farming, fell in love with a farmer, and now I love our life on the farm,” says Courtney.
 
Courtney explains that it was a fluke to get into journalism. She needed one more rural extension course to graduate. Agricultural Communications with Owen Roberts fell into this category. She started the class (several months after it started) and Owen eventually offered her a job as a SPARK writer for ‘Research’ magazine and that’s where her journey into agricultural journalism began. “Once I recognized that I could write, I started writing all the time and realized how much I loved it. I knew writing was what I wanted to do with my life.”
 
When asked about what her favourite thing about being a reporter is, Courtney said it is interviewing people and then telling their story. She really enjoys writing profiles, which is a little different than a hard news piece. Profiles are more intimate and emotional versus reporting facts and quotes. Courtney goes on to say “It’s such an honour for me as a journalist to hear some of the stories that I do and then get to transform them into a written piece. People have shared their most personal struggles and triumphs with me and then trusted me to put it out into the world. It’s a humbling job sometimes and I am honoured to get to be a part of it.”
 
As a communicator and farmer, Courtney sees many benefits to agricultural communications for both the farming and non-farming communities. For the farming community, it’s a way to extend information, knowledge and new technology to producers. It’s a way to connect farmers from across the province or country that might spend most of their time alone in a tractor. It’s a way to share with the world what modern farming is all about. That’s where the non-farming community comes into play. Agricultural communications offers a platform where agriculture can tell its own story in its own words, which is more important today than it’s ever been. “When your group is made up of less than 2 per cent of the population, it’s tough to get your voice out there but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Agricultural communications is one tool that the industry can use to make the unlikely possible,” she says.  
 
One of the best pieces of advice that she ever received was: “to become a strong writer; one must become a strong reader.” Whether it’s a classic novel, a newspaper, a magazine or social media, she suggests finding something to read every day. Look at how the words are structured on the page, question if you like the way the sentence is laid out and remember it if you do. If you don’t, take note of that too and question how you would make that sentence or article better. If there is a word you do not understand, Google the definition.
 
In addition to being a director with ECFWA, Courtney is also a director with the Grey Bruce Agriculture & Culinary Association, as well as on the organizing executive for Grown in Grey and a member and volunteer blog contributor for the Ag Women’s Network. She decided to join these organizations for the networking opportunity, to get out of the house and off the farm, and to give back to the agriculture community.

To wrap things up, Courtney mentions “Being a member of the ECFWA and a director on the board has been a great opportunity for me personally and professionally. I’ve met friends, travelled, gotten freelance work, and grown as an agricultural communicator thanks to my involvement with the association. It’s a great group of people and I am happy to be a small part of that.”

To connect with Courtney Denard, you can email her at
courtney_denard@hotmail.com; or follow her on Twitter @CowSpotComm

 

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Congratulations to all ECFWA honourees at the Canadian Farm Writers'  Federation Award Banquet.  They are as follows:
  • Lilian Schaer: Gold, News Release
  • Ray Ford: Gold, General Periodical
  • Owen Roberts: Bronze, General Periodical
  • Ralph Pearce: Silver, Technical Feature
  • Mary Baxter: Gold, Press Feature
  • Don Stoneman: Bronze, Monthly Press Reporting
  • Kelsey Johnson: Bronze, Daily Press Reporting
  • Karen Dallimore and Nicholas Murphy, Bronze, News Photograph

CFWF2017
Come and join your fellow ECFWA and CFWF colleagues in beautiful Quebec City for the 2017 CFWF Annual Conference Sept 29-October 1. The theme will be "Quebec - land of culture and agriculture" and will include traditional experiences as well as the opportunity to learn about the unique agricultural systems of La Belle Province. Pre-tours will be in Montreal and St-Hyacinthe, while main tours will be in Quebec City and the surrounding area. You can be certain the maple shanty experience will be included as well! 

We are proud to be doing this in conjunction with our French colleagues, ACRA, who have a membership of almost 80 people. 

If you have any questions or would like to be involved as part of the ECFWA team, please feel free to contact Hugh Maynard at
hugh@quanglo.ca. Otherwise, we'll see you in Quebec next year!


Photo taken by Sharon Grose
 
 
By Kelly Daynard
 

It was soon after I started working as editor of a farm magazine in Ontario almost 20 years ago that someone suggested I join the Eastern Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation. As a journalist coming from a weekly newspaper, I didn’t even know that being a “farm writer” was a thing – or that there were a lot of them both in Canada and around the world.

I don’t remember who gave me that sage advice but I’m grateful they did. In the two decades since, I’ve met countless fabulous friends and colleagues, have toured farms across the country and around the world and have learned so much from the affiliations.

Eight years ago, I applied for the Monsanto bursary to attend the Slovakia/Austria/Slovenia congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists. I’d heard a little about the IFAJ but the more I read (and worked on my application), the more I knew that I wanted to win that bursary more than I’d wanted anything in a long time.
And then when (then CFWF president) Myrna Leader called to tell me I’d been chosen, it set me on a path that has enhanced my life – and my agricultural education – exponentially.

I’ve not missed a congress since that first one in 2008. I joke that it’s become an expensive habit and it’s become the absolute highlight of each year. But when I’m asked about the IFAJ and its importance to me, I often find it hard to put into words the energy and comradery that comes from being part of this special group.

As delegates, colleagues and international friends, we’re all united in our passion for food, farming and communications. It never seems unusual to me (although I know it does to some) that I’m touring farms on my annual vacation – or that I’m doing that with great friends (from dozens of countries) that I only see once a year – and some every few years.

I’ve discovered that without exception, farmers around the world are humble, imaginative, innovative and passionate about what they do to feed their countries. I’m proud to work on their behalf and help tell their stories. The German congress this past July was no exception. I shed tears at the story that a farmer from East Germany shared of regaining his farm after the wall fell in 1989 – a farm that his father had escaped from decades earlier after being threatened with arrest. I marveled at the foresight of the young farmer who is building a viewing gallery into his chicken barn so that anyone driving or biking by can see firsthand what’s happening in his barns as a way of building consumer confidence. I loved meeting the farm family who, after moving to East Germany, set about to rebuild their dilapidated village – starting first with the church (then in serious disrepair) so their community had a place to worship. And the dairy, strawberry, sugar beet and beef farmers that I also visited all had fascinating stories of their own.
I’m grateful for the farm experiences that IFAJ has provided me. We’ve visited orange groves in Argentina,  crocodile and prawn farms in Australia, beef herds grazing high in the Austrian Alps and vast sheep plantations in New Zealand. We’ve toured through apple processing plants, dairies, tree nurseries and a world floral show in Slovakia, Belgium, Germany and Finland.   

And the cultural experiences are without comparison as well. Touring the breeding facility of the famed Lipizzaner stallions in Slovenia; attending a final banquet in the Golden Hall in Stockholm (where the Nobel prize banquet is held), participating in a black tie event (complete with ancient ceremonies) in a 1,000 year old guild hall in London and most recently, taking a boat cruise down Germany’s picturesque Rhine River – castles perched majestically on every hilltop we passed – are among some of the more magical events that I’ve been lucky to be a part of.

Over the years, it’s also been great to see the number of Canadian delegates attending IFAJ increasing. In New Zealand in 2015, we had an impressive 15 delegates – second only to the USA in numbers. With Canada’s Owen Roberts now serving as president of IFAJ, and our own secretariat serving the same role for the world organization, Canada’s guild is both well respected and highly visible on the world stage. 

I’m grateful to whoever it was, all those years ago, who encouraged me to join the ECFWA – which led me to next to the CFWF and then to the IFAJ. And if I could pass along the same advice, I would. If you ever have the chance to attend an IFAJ congress, take it! It could change your life – like it has mine.

The next three congresses are planned for April, 2017 (South Africa); July, 2018 (The Netherlands); July, 2019 (Minnesota, USA). Dates and details will be posted, as they come available, at
www.ifaj.org

Photo caption: Canadian delegates at IFAJ 2016 in Bonn, Germany included (back row, from left) Betty and Trevor Bacque, Laura Rance, Elaine Shein, Hugh Maynard, Owen Roberts, Kelly Daynard. (Front row, from left), Christina Franc, Julienne Isaacs, Melanie Epp, Lilian Schaer, Allison Finnamore.
 
by Lilian Schaer
 
China highlights:
Observations of the cultural and agricultural kind

By Lilian Schaer
Last month, I was fortunate enough to take part in the latest International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ Exposure for Development tour, which this year travelled to China.

With the support of sponsor AGCO, a multinational farm equipment manufacturer of well-known brands like Massey Ferguson and Fendt, this was the first time IFAJ had taken its E4D tour outside of Africa.

Eleven journalists from 10 different countries – Canada, United States, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Austria, United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia and Spain – gathered in Beijing on September 22 to kick off the tour, which proved to be a fascinating mix of culture and agriculture.

Here are some highlights and observations:

The Great Wall of China – this is most symbolically significant structure in China and was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987. Once more than 8,800 km long, our guide told us that today just over 1,000 km remain in various parts of China. Its uneven steps and rolling terrain take your breath away physically just as its stunning beauty does figuratively.

It’s all mobile – China is a nation of mobile device users. Everyone seems to have one and also seems to be on their device all the time and everywhere. This is advantageous in agriculture as farm publications and service providers make use of an app called WeChat (a Chinese style version of the What’s App we use here) to share information with farmers, including streaming training sessions. This makes it easier and more cost effective to communicate in real time with farmers in a country where geography poses challenges. WeChat also serves as a mobile wallet – if you link up your banking options to your account, you can simply show your WeChat wallet QR code in restaurants and stores and it is scanned for payment.

Mechanization is key – The Chinese government’s priority is food security and their current target is to be 95 per cent food self-sufficient by 2020. Although many experts we visited with told us it was unlikely they would reach that target in that timeframe, they’re driving hard towards it by focusing on the mechanization of their agricultural sector. Agricultural machinery co-ops have been formed to consolidate farmland into bigger tracts that can be worked with large farm equipment, for example, and Chinese dairy farms are getting increasingly larger to take advantage of modern dairy technologies.

The problem of labour – We were surprised to learn that the cost and availability of labour in agriculture is as big a problem in China as it is in Canada. Almost everyone we met with in the sector lamented that young people don’t want to work in agriculture, that it’s hard to find workers – yet another reason why the industry is moving towards mechanization, including using drones to spray crops, for example.

Leaving the countryside – Governments in western countries are challenged with trying to keep rural areas populated. In China, it’s the complete opposite. There, the government is encouraging people to move to the cities, with urbanization designated as a national priority in order to help drive economic growth.

It’s not about family history – In Canada, many of us are proud of farms that have been in a family for generations. This is almost unheard of in China, we were told. Small farms are rapidly being absorbed into large-scale farms or co-operatives, most of which first started coming into existence about 10 years ago. Investors today put money into agriculture with a single focus: return on investment.

The devil is in the detail – Technology abounds in Chinese agriculture, but the problems often lie with a lack of knowledge of everyday things that Canadian farmers take for granted. In dairy, for example, there’s a need for greater understanding of a cow’s physiology, such as how she drops milk or converts feed, or why changing milk filters is important. 

If the Chinese start eating cheese – Dairy demand is growing exponentially in China as their diet changes, but one dairy product not yet popular there is cheese. But when it does, watch out, cheese lovers! As the secretary general of the Dairy Association of China told us: “If the Chinese start eating cheese at the level westerners do, all the cheese production in the world won’t be enough to meet the demand.”  


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Niblets

John Greig recently joined Glacier FarmMedia as its Ontario Field Editor to help increase its Ontario coverage.  Previously he worked with 31st Line Strategic Communications and Ontario Farmer Publications. 

Karen Dallimore, an OAC '85 grad in Animal Science,  has left the ECFWA board to go back to the U of G. She is currently taking a course in agricultural research methods to learn what is good science, what is poor science, and how to tell the difference. It's part of an effort to provide better knowledge transfer through her writing. "Just because it's 'science', it doesn't mean it's good, relevant information. I think my readers deserve an educated translation of research results."

Kristy Nudds has a new job and as Account/PR Specialistwith 31st Line Communications and Lianne (Lia) Appleby is now working on the Canadian Poultry magazine. 

Farm broadcaster Ray Baynton is retiring from CKNX in Wingham.  He has been a farm reporter with the organization for over 40 years and since 1976 has been the station’s news director.



If you have any news items to share in the next Niblets, please email them to kim.coyle@ontariopork.on.ca

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The Nib is a distribution for members, by members of the
Eastern Canada Farm Writers’ Association

Editor: Kimberley Coyle
@kcoyle1012
(519)831-6589

kim.coyle@ontariopork.on.ca 

Newsletter comments or suggestions are welcome.

Like Us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! @ECFWA.
Connect with your peers – this is YOUR organization!
The next edition of the Nib will be distributed in February 2017.

www.ecfwa.ca

 

Copyright © 2016 Eastern Canadian Farmer Writers' Association, All rights reserved.

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