Ontario farm journalists honoured

Two long-time Ontario agricultural journalists were honoured for their contributions to farm writing by the Eastern Canada Farm Writers’ Association (ECFWA) at its annual meeting last week.

Glenn Powell and Jim Romahn became Life Members, a designation awarded by the ECFWA to agricultural journalists who have made outstanding contributions to agriculture, to the ECFWA, to the journalism profession and to their communities.

According to nominator John Greig, a past President of the ECFWA and editor with Ontario Farmer, both winners have been willing volunteers with the farm writer organization both regionally and nationally.

“They both are professional and diligent journalists, and passionate about rural Ontario and farmers,” Greig wrote in his nomination letter. “Both are former presidents of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (CFWF) and they have been mentors for many young writers and communicators including myself.”

Jim started his career with the Kitchener-Waterloo Record in 1963 after graduating from the University of Western Ontario’s journalism program. He began a tenure with Agriculture Canada in 1968, eventually working with Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan and it was during this time that he became involved with the farm writer organizations.

Jim returned to the Record in 1974 as a columnist and farm reporter and remained there until becoming a freelance writer in 1994. He eventually joined the staff of the Ontario Farmer and although he retired in 2008, he continues to freelance.

Jim has won more than 100 national, regional and farm writing awards, including a Roland Michener fellowship in 1988 to study and write about biotechnology.

Glenn is a graduate of the Ontario Agricultural College and began his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a farm commentator in 1963. His work as a national reporter for CBC radio news included covering parliament hill, national elections, political conventions, agriculture, food and environment. He has reported from all ten Canadian provinces, as well as many parts of the US, Mexico and western Europe.

For the past number of years Glenn has been a regular freelance contributor to Ontario Farmer. He is a past President of both the ECFWA and the CFWF.

Jim was at the ECFWA annual meeting in Bradford last week to receive his award. He is pictured below (centre) flanked by John Greig, who nominated him and myself, who presented him with the award.

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