Canadian Farm Writers Federation Conference
The Changing Face(s) of Agriculture
September 20-22, 2018
Join us for the Canadian Farm Writers Federation annual conference in Manitoba September 20-22, 2018 as we explore “The Changing Face(s) of Agriculture.” We promise a jam-packed event, from the opening reception at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to Friday’s tour of Manitoba’s diverse agriculture sector, from a thought-provoking Saturday professional development program to the annual CFWF awards banquet at the historic Fort Garry Hotel.
CFWF President promotes upcoming Manitoba conference
By Julie Neal
In 1996, Crystal Jorgenson volunteered at the registration table for the CFWF conference, taking place in Manitoba that year. Being new to the field of agri-communications, she remembers feeling excited about the opportunity to meet all of these new and wonderful people. After twenty-two years, it is these great people (and of course the musical talent of the GMOs) that keep her coming back to the event year after year. In preparation for this year’s conference in Winnipeg, she is working hard with a great team to plan a weekend of farm tours, professional development, and good times.
When it came time to select a theme, the team had lots of ideas! They discussed human resources, technology, the climate, gender representation, and diversity. They noticed that no matter the topic, the same word kept coming up: change. This led them to choose “The Changing Faces of Agriculture” as the theme that best encompasses all of their ideas. The weekend will explore how the human dimension of agriculture is quickly changing, and how it relates to other, rapidly evolving parts of the agricultural industry.
Manitoba is a perfect location to explore this theme. “We have a real mix! We have a very diverse population in terms of ethnicity, a diverse agricultural landscape that ranges all the way from livestock to grains and oilseeds, and we are increasingly getting into pulses,” explained Crystal. “We also have a lot of agribusinesses in Winnipeg. We really represent the changes and increase in diversity that is happening in our industry.”
During the Thursday pre-tours, participants will get to attend The Hermetic Code tour of the Manitoba Legislature building, go to the zoo to see the polar bear exhibit, or to go on a walking tour and visit the MacDon factory.
When asked if she could pinpoint the activity that she is the most excited about, Crystal talked enthusiastically about the opening reception on the Thursday night, which will take place at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The museum holds a world-class human rights centre. “It will be a great way to kick off the whole conference,” she explained. “It’s becoming an international showcase, and it’s just architecturally stunning,” she continued.
On the Friday, participants will get on bus tours heading west of Winnipeg. One tour will focus on changing faces, another will highlight changing landscapes, and the third one will explore changing diets. The busses will all meet up for supper before heading back to the hotel (and the awaiting hospitality suite). Saturday will be the professional development day and will include talks on communication trends, media consumption, statistics (from Stats Can), and a presentation by Climate Atlas. The gala and awards banquet will follow, which is always a great highlight and a great way to end the conference.
“We’re just so excited to have everyone come and visit us,” said Crystal ecstatically. The whole planning team is looking forward to seeing new and old faces at this event. “It’s really nice to have the face-to-face discussions that the conference allows people in this industry,” she said, stating that these conversations are one of her favourite parts of the conference every year. “The national organization is a combination of not just Ag Journalists but also of communicators,” she went on, adding that CFWF’s “ability to bring all of these people together is really unique. A lot of excellent connections get made in the process. I think there is real professional development worth in this organization, which is what brings people back year after year.”
Early bird registration for the conference until July 13.
(originally published in CFWF’s The Farm Journalist)