Month: September 2007

Urban journalism and the agriculture story

Two well-known Ontario journalists issued a call to action to the agricultural sector today urging farm writers and communicators to tailor their messages to urban audiences. Clear and easy-to-access information are what urban media outlets need in order to cover agricultural issues, say Ed Cassavoy, Senior Editor at the Toronto Star, and Assistant News Director […]

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As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

What defines us as Canadians? Is it our multiculturalism? Medicare? Hockey? That question was addressed by Globe and Mail columnist Roy MacGregor in a lunch time address to Canadian farm journalists and communicators in Belleville ON today. The answer isn’t really that cut and dried, as MacGregor discovered while writing his book “Canadians”, that focuses […]

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Local food has gone mainstream

That is the opinion of Mike Schreiner, Vice President of Local Flavour Plus, an organization that links farmers using socially and environmentally sustainable practices with local buyers. He was speaking at the CFWF conference in Belleville this morning. According to a study by Environics, 79% of central Ontarians prefer to buy local food, and 54% […]

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A red meat alternative

It was like stepping back to days gone by – watching a herd of buffalo graze while overlooking the beautiful rolling countryside. That was the experience of Canadian farm writers yesterday during a visit to Century Game Park, a bison farm near Warkworth ON. Owner Rod Potter is a fifth generation farmer specializing in bison […]

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A pioneer in live age verification

A small Northumberland County sale barn is a Canadian pioneer in live age verification of beef cattle. Members of the DeNure family, who have owned Hoard’s Station Sale Barn since 1949, hosted about 50 agricultural journalists Friday as part of the 2007 Canadian Farm Writers Federation annual conference. The sale barn, known as Hoard’s, was […]

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Raising awareness of wine unfairness

Wine producers in Prince Edward County are opening a wine store for a day to draw attention to restrictive provincial liquor laws that they say are unfair to their burgeoning industry. Visitors to the “store” will be able to sample some of Ontario best wines and ciders grown right here in Prince Edward County – […]

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A welcome with local food and drink

The 2007 CFWF conference kicked off with a welcome reception featuring local food and drink this evening. About 80 farm writers from across Canada joined local dignitaries and business representatives at the Ramada Inn on the Bay. Conference co-chairs Kelly Daynard and Lilian Schaer opened the event with welcoming remarks. Belleville Mayor Neil Ellis (pictured […]

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“Taste the Future” in Belleville this week

Value-added agriculture is the theme of this year’s Canadian Farm Writers conference – hosted in the beautiful Quinte region. The area – encompassing Prince Edward, Hastings and Northumberland Counties – is one steeped in tradition dating back to the arrival of the first United Empire Loyalists more than 200 years ago. It has also largely […]

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Home at last

No matter how good a trip has been, there’s always something special about coming home. Now comes time to unpack, sort through all the materials we’ve gathered over the last week and finish downloading and filing all the pictures. Japan was a wonderful experience – the people were warm and welcoming, and always helpful, even […]

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Team Canada in Japan

Five Canadians were present at this year’s annual IFAJ congress in Japan (from left): Kim Waalderbos, winner of the 2007 Canadian Farm Writers Federation travel bursary (sponsored by Monsanto) Owen Roberts, IFAJ Vice President of Professional Development and co-chair of the 2011 IFAJ congress in Canada Lilian Schaer, President of the Eastern Canada Farm Writers’ […]

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Dairy processing

A visit to the Michinoku Milk Company gave us insights into Japan’s dairy food sector. It’s chief brand name is MegMilk, which can be widely seen on milk cartons and dairy drinks across the country. The company, founded in 1993, is located in Osaki City in the northwestern part of Miyagi prefecture and produces a […]

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A country lunch

Our Japanese hosts were very eager to provide us with as many truly Japanese experiences as possible. One of these was a lunch of traditional foods at a Japanese-style restaurant. Our meal included rice balls, miso soup, vegetables and tofu, all artfully arranged in many small and delicate dishes and prepared by local farm women. […]

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A word about shoes

Shoes are very important in Japan – considerable time is spent taking them off and putting them on each day as you enter and leave various premises. This is especially prevalent in rural areas, where old customs and traditions are still heartily embraced and practiced. Several of our tour stops asked us to remove our […]

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Agriculture in Miyagi Prefecture

Two days of our IFAJ conference in Japan were spent touring around Miyagi prefecture, one of the most agriculture-intensive areas of the country. Miyagi has a population of 2.37 million people, and is home to 13% of Japan’s agriculture. It’s total annual ag production is approximately $20 million CDN. Rice, produce and livestock are its […]

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Promoting local food from local farmers

One of our tour stops took us to a local farmer’s market in Miyagi prefecture about two hours north of Tokyo. It was a sight to behold: more than three million customers pass through its doors every year. According to market general manager Jin-ichi Sato, only two places in the entire prefecture – or state/province […]

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