I am honoured to have been elected president of ECFWA at our recent AGM and I am excited to work with our newly elected Executive Council. I want to thank all our retiring Executive Council members for their service to our association; especially our former president Meaghan Ryersee for her strong leadership and enthusiasm for the agriculture industry.
I hope we can maintain and expand our membership base by offering you relevant and engaging professional development and networking opportunities in the year ahead. If, at any point, you have suggestions or comments on what we are doing, please feel free to reach out to me or any other member of the Executive Council to share your thoughts.
At our May AGM, a change in the ECFWA constitution was approved which removes the communications coordinator as an officer of the Executive Council. There was an important and thought-provoking debate about this motion ahead of the vote. And I want to assure our members that this change does not mean we feel communicating with our members is unimportant. In fact, it means just the opposite. We want to do a better job of letting our members know about what we are doing as an association and communicate with you on a more regular basis. Spreading out the communications work will hopefully help us achieve this goal.
More than 30 farm writers came together in Stratford for the ECFWA AGM on May 14, 2019. The theme was a ‘Social Event,’ incorporating social media use and opportunities to network with old and new faces.
AGM attendees then heard from Sgt. Laura Lee Brown who discussed social media use by the OPP and answered questions on how the OPP handles farm road safety and animal activists.
After lunch, everyone boarded a bus for a tour of Shepherd Creek Farms with Sandi Brock. Sandi discussed her vlog, social media and took members on a tour of her sheep farm. The next stop was Stonetown Cheesefor a tour of the facility. The tour covered the process of making and aging cheese and ended with a walk through the dairy barns. A highlight of this stop was the opportunity to taste a wide-range of cheeses made from milk produced on the farm.
Thank you to our ECFWA sponsors, executive council, and volunteers for making the 2019 ECFWA AGM a success.
ECFWA is scheduled to host the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (CFWF) annual conference in 2020.
Planning for this event is well underway with a committee co-chaired by Rachel Telford and Kelsey Johnson. The conference will be held in Windsor, Thursday, September 24, 2020 – Sunday, September 27, 2020 at Caesars Windsor Hotel and Convention Centre. Mark your calendars and plan to attend!
The planning committee has themed the conference ‘Risky Business’ and the conference will explore the risks inherent in the agriculture industry – from the issues faced by farmers in southwestern Ontario, to new business opportunities, to international politics and trade wars. The conference will feature a Thursday pre-tour to Michigan farms as well as a full day of touring southwestern Ontario agriculture on the Friday and a full day of professional development Saturday.
If you have an interest in helping with our conference planning, or an interest in sponsorship opportunities for the conference, please email email@example.com.
Ag journalist writes her own happy ending Melanie Epp covers stories on food and farming all over the world. Written by Courtney Denard for Ontario Farmer and the Ag Women's Network
Melanie Epp has had a deep passion for writing since she was a child. She started by crafting stories at a young age and even created her own magazine with her sister in the late 1980s.
When it came time to pick a career, though, Melanie didn't consider writing as an option, not right away, anyway.
After spending a few years travelling the world, and a few more years after that working in restaurants and bars, Melanie enrolled at the University of Guelph at 27 years old. She studied English Literature and History.
Melanie's passion for the written word was still there but soon a new subject matter -food -started to intrigue her.
"I was one of those people who was terrified of where my food came from," Melanie said. "I wanted to know where my food came from before it was ever a movement."
Have you heard? The IFAJ Congress is returning to Canada in 2023! While the event will be hosted in Calgary, the organizing committee is hoping to recruit a few volunteers from across the CFWF membership. Find out more about this amazing opportunity!