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7-Business: Pioneer Hi-Bred invests in agricultural journalists' education

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TITLE:  Canadian farm journalism gets professional boost from Pioneer Hi-
SOURCE: Pioneer Hi-Bred Press Release
DATE:   November 23, 2000

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Canadian farm journalism gets professional boost from Pioneer Hi-Bred

CHATHAM, ONTARIO Š Agricultural journalists from across Canada will 
immediately gain enhanced skills and a deeper understanding of their 
profession, thanks to a new farm writing and broadcasting initiative 
announced by Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited.

The Pioneer Professional Development Sponsorship Series will annually 
support the participation of up to six Canadian agricultural journalists at 
significant professional development conferences and events across North 
America, says Art Stirling, the companyÕs communications and industry 
relations manager, and a graduate of RyersonÕs School of Journalism.

A prototype of the program over the past two years has seen journalists 
take part in communications and leadership-related conferences and clinics 
in St. Louis, San Antonio, Washington and Winnipeg, held by the American 
Agricultural EditorsÕ Association, the U.S. Agricultural CommunicatorsÕ 
Congress and the Canadian Association of Journalists.

"We realize the value of professional development and the opportunity to 
gain a different perspective on agricultural communications and the larger 
agriculture industry, particularly in this era of increasing complexity and 
globalization, " says Stirling. "Everyone Š journalists, their audiences 
and news sources Š benefits from this investment in professional 

The Pioneer initiative was welcomed by Laurie Harris, president of the 400-
member Canadian Farm WritersÕ Federation (CFWF), representing English-
speaking agricultural journalists and communicators in Canada.

"In the agri-food sector, it can be a challenge to get to important 
professional development conferences and events because there are 
relatively few journalists, and the industry itself is so lean," she says. 
"Pioneer has long understood this challenge, and has shown leadership and 
generosity in helping farm writers develop their professional abilities."

Andrew Douglas, a field reporter with Country Guide Ontario, says he was 
able to immediately apply professional tips he acquired earlier this year 
during an editorsÕ meeting he attended with PioneerÕs help.

"I picked up some excellent tips on how to pull out good stories from 
sources," he says. "IÕve also been able to put into practice lessons I 
learned from a seminar on photography, searching for things like Ōleading 
linesÕ through my viewfinder. ItÕs always a challenge to take interesting 
pictures of farmers, beyond the static man-standing-knee-deep-in-corn-with-
hands-in-pockets shot."

PioneerÕs roots are firmly planted in journalism. Company founder Henry A. 
Wallace was a farm journalist in rural Iowa in the 1910s, in addition to 
his interest in plant genetics. The company has been a strong supporter of 
Canadian farm journalism for many years, and in many ways. In 1989, Pioneer 
became the founding sponsor of the University of GuelphÕs SPARK (Students 
Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge) program, which is now a 
prototype at 14 universities across Canada. In 1998, Pioneer helped 
establish the prototype program for the UniversityÕs enhanced agricultural 
communication course, CanadaÕs only post-secondary level agricultural 
journalism initiative. That support was pivotal for the program attracting 
funding from the Agricultural Adaptation Council and growing into a three-
year initiative. Pioneer also sponsors and contributes to various events at 
the annual CFWF conference, with the 2001 edition being held next September 
in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

"Pioneer shows its support not only for high-profile agricultural reporters 
getting front-page by-lines, but also for those who are writing the very 
first story of their careers," says Owen Roberts, instructor and co-
ordinator of the University of Guelph program. "The profession is fortunate 
to be associated with a company that shows this kind of commitment and 
understanding, with no strings attached."

Established in 1946, Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited is CanadaÕs premier seed 
company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, 
Inc. (a DuPont business), the worldÕs leading supplier of agricultural 
plant genetics and an innovative developer and integrator of associated 
technologies. From headquarters in Chatham, Ontario and Des Moines, Iowa, 
Pioneer develops, produces and markets a full line of seeds, forage/grain 
additives and services to crop and livestock farmers, grain processors and 
other end-use customers. Products are distributed coast-to-coast in Canada 
through a network of 225 sales professionals.


Art Stirling
Communications & Industry Relations Manager
+1-800-265-9435, ext. 6724

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