The Grower was recognized for excellence at the recent Annual Awards of the 350-member Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation held in Quebec City on September 30. Freelance photographer Glenn Lowson took the Gold Prize for best news photograph, featuring assistant winemaker Vanessa McKeen transferring Seyval Blanc grapes to the press at Georgian Hills Vineyards, The Blue Mountains, Ontario. The venture is owned by John Ardiel and his sons, Greg and Liam.
This is a fitting tribute to a photographer who never turns down a 6 am pickup for “photo safari.” One proviso: the birdseed in his contract states that the first stop is at Tim Horton’s! For six years, he’s brought a news photographer’s eye for story-telling to The Grower.
Editor Karen Davidson won a Silver Prize in the monthly press reporting category for her feature, “Taking stock of the Canadian-American relationship.”
Published in April 2017, the cover story reported on the bullish attitude of Canadian growers towards NAFTA renegotiations based on their personal relationships with American clients. The feature also distilled the ancillary issues of water sharing, specifically the U.S. administration’s cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and potential effects of the upcoming negotiations on the Columbia River treaty which affects B.C. growers. The story concluded with analysis of U.S. wage rates and labour availability, the trend towards robotics and the inevitable cascading effect on the competitiveness of Canadian growers.
Thanks to many growers and industry leaders who carved out time for an interview on short notice and shared their insights. They are: Jason Smith, Larry McIntosh, John Hambly, Peter Rideout, Ron Lemaire and Murray Porteous.
This award honours the best single news story on an agricultural topic for an intended audience by a Canadian medium published on a monthly basis. The story must be of a hard-news nature and presents an issue or news event clearly with strong quotes, facts, balance, background and ramifications of a development. Originality and style are important elements in this category.
The Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation is the professional association of 350 members across the country.
The April 2017 cover story in The Grower earned a silver award in the monthly press reporting category of the annual awards of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation.