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-
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Communications & Industry Relations Manager
+1-800-265-9435, ext. 6724
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