The formation of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation and the provincial associations began with a meeting in Edmonton in June 1955, involving Tom Leach of CBC, Dick Beamish of the Western Producer, Jack Cram of the Family Herald, Frank Jacobs of Canadian Cattlemen, and Don Baron of the Country Guide. Nothing official was done at this informal session, but the decision was made to encourage the development of provincial organizations and a national federation of such groups.
Manitoba was the first group to formally organize. The formative meeting was held on February 29, 1956, in a CBC Winnipeg studio. Lionel Moore of CBC was elected president and other board members included Richard Cobb, Elva Fletcher, Harry Halliwell and Jack Cram. That year was a year of much organizing for farm writers — Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Eastern Sector all rose to the challenge.
The national group took shape that year, as well. It happened in Toronto on November 10, 1956. About 30 farm writers attended a meeting and dealt with the formalities necessary for a national federation of groups. Dick Beamish of the Western Producer became the first president of the national group.
From the start, the provincial and national organizations were set up to enhance information services to the agriculture industry, to enhance the professional competence of those involved and to maintain a fraternal relationship amongst those involved in this profession. These aims have been maintained with a considerable effort, especially by those who chose to take an active part in planning, organizing, and carrying out almost half a century of programming.
Board of Directors – 2017
Past MFWBA President, Current CFWF President