Farm writers elect new president

There’s a new leader at the helm of the Eastern Canada Farm Writers’ Association (ECFWA). Clare Illingworth, a communications specialist with Syngenta Crop Protection, became president of the organization at its annual meeting this week.

Illingworth, who has served on the ECFWA board for several years, first as a director and most recently as Second Vice President, takes over from outgoing president Kelly Daynard, program manager with the Ontario Farm Animal Council.

The ECFWA is the professional organization of farm writers, PR specialists and agricultural communicators in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. It belongs to the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation and currently has approximately 170 members.

Board directors Claire Cowan, Editor of the Ontario Grain Farmer, and Karen Dallimore, a freelance writer, assumed the roles of Newsletter Editor and Second Vice President respectively. Joining the board as new directors are Kathie MacDonald of the Rural Ontario Institute, Christina Franc of Qu’anglo Communications and Terry Stevenson of Southern Co-operative Services.

First Vice President Sarah Andrewes of Hill & Knowlton and Secretary Treasurer Andrew Campbell from Farms.com are continuing in their positions for another year.

Former Newsletter Editor Kim Waalderbos and Director Scott Allison both stepped down from the Board, and the AGM also marked the end of my tenure with the organization.

I joined the ECFWA board as a director in 2002 and served a three year term as president from 2005 – 2008. I enjoyed being a part of the organization and I must admit that it will feel a bit strange to no longer be involved with Board activities.

However, it is time for me to step aside and give new leaders a chance to shine. And, it’s not like I am going very far as I’m the co-chair of the International Federation of Agriculture Journalist congress that is coming to Canada in 2011 for the first time in over 40 years.

There’s no shortage of work to be done in the next 18 months – and I look forward to getting ready to welcome the world’s agriculture journalists to Ontario next fall.

More posts about IFAJ 2011 and photos and experiences from the recent 2010 congress, held in Belgium last months will follow in the days ahead.

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