Experience new world agriculture in Canada

ifaj-2011-logo-finalCanada is a land built on the foundations of agriculture and the hard work of generations of immigrants and farmers. These are the people who came to what was the “New World” to lay the groundwork for the life, culture and society we enjoy here today. Around the globe today, our country is admired as a producer of high quality food and as a leader in cutting edge agriculture.

In 2011, Canada will have the unique opportunity to showcase that innovative spirit to journalists from 30 different countries when we host the annual congress of the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists (IFAJ). Our theme: “Experience New World Agriculture”.

“The IFAJ is a culturally and economically diverse organization”, IFAJ President Mike Wilson of the United States told delegates at the recent Canadian Farm Writers Federation conference in Alberta. “Our members range from wealthy European countries to emerging economies to developing nations and it’s a wonderful cross-section of global agriculture.”

Each year, a different member country takes on the task of putting on the international congress. In 2010, Belgium will be the host. Our event, the first of its kind to take place in Canada since 1967, will be held in southern Ontario.

We will start off our congress in Guelph, then take our delegates on tours to Midwestern, Southwestern and Eastern Ontario to let them see and experience Canadian agriculture first hand and have the chance to meet and talk with farmers. We’ll wrap up with a couple of days in one of the most spectacular of all Canadian sites – Niagara Falls.

I’m particularly excited about this as I’m lucky enough (or is that perhaps crazy enough?!?) to be one of two chairs heading up the planning and organizing of the congress. Although our planning is well in hand, there is still much to be done before we’ll kick off our IFAJ event in September 2011 and I’m sure more than my fair share of hand-wringing and fretting awaits until that time!

The decision of who will host such a congress is made many years in advance. The IFAJ currently has host countries lined up until 2017 – so for Canada to gain a spot in this rotation is truly an honour.

Visit our website – www.ifaj2011.com – or follow us on Twitter: @ifaj2011.

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