As a kid I use to watch Stampede Wrestling and I remember
hearing my dad or my brother tell me how phony it all was as these guys would
get in the ring and apparently beat the crap out of each other, and hate each
other’s guts, and then after the fight they’d get in the same car, head to
restaurant and have dinner together. It was all show.
I don’t know if that’s what wrestlers really do, but the
truth about farm writers was exposed this week on Twitter as
long-time agricultural writers were caught apparently socializing at the
Farmtech Conference in Edmonton.
Now I could use this space to tell you how to really make
money by consistently growing malt barley, or how to double your canola yield,
yadah, yadah — I heard all that at Farmtech — but what’s really important is to
set the record straight on the cutthroat world of agricultural journalism.
Pictured in this photo is Janet Kanters, western editor for Top Crop Manager,
at left; Lee Hart with Grainews, centre and Mary McArthur with Western
Producer. And we’re all sitting in the Top Crop Manager lounge, which was in
the centre of the Farmtech tradeshow.
Man, you go to a farm show with 1,700 producers and you
except some degree of privacy, but no. This photo I believe was taken by Kevin
Yaworsky, ad sales guy for Top Crop Manager….he was the only other person at
the table, except for Ron Hockridge, who was a long-time agronomy specialist
with Alberta Agriculture, who is now an agronomist with the Westaskwin Co-op in
Alberta. I trust agronomists, but that Yaworsky is in sales. He used to be a
side and went into advertising sales. I’d should know better. You have to watch
those sales guys.
Yes, I can’t deny it any longer. We, farm writers, do get
along. As you can see by this photo, Mary and I are discussing a serious matter
about how to keep farmers better informed and profitable, while Janet appears
to be more interested in texting on her cell phone.
There were a couple more reunions for me at Farmtech. Just
out of range of the above photo was the
www.realagriculture.com booth at the
tradeshow. RealAgriculture.com is an electronic on-line farm magazine run by Shaun
Haney and one of Haney’s collaborators these days is Peter Gredig of St.
Thomas, Ontario. And Peter and I worked together years ago. He was editor of
Country Guide East and I was a field editor for Country Guide West. Peter and
Shaun are busy developing apps that help farmers do a better job of managing
crop production. This isn’t a photo of Peter, by the way. This is a Don Cherry
impersonator. His real name is Clark Robertson, and if you are looking for a
personality at your next event you can contact Clark at www.clarkrobertson.com . He was great.
I just wish he’d stay out of my closet.
And then to ice the cake, after Janet, Mary and I stopped
fighting over stories at Farmtech we met up for a drink later and who should
blow into the lounge but Page Newton. Page who comes from a ranching family in
southern Saskatchewan was a Country Guide field editor in Winnipeg back in the
UGG days and I was the Guide field editor in Alberta. So we collaborated on many
projects, and that was probably about 20 years ago. Anyway, Page is now manager
of agronomic services with Viterra in Brooks, Alta. I didn’t know she knew all
that stuff. Anyway, here is one of “back in the day” photos of Country Guide,
Canadian Cattlemen and Grainews writers on a trailer about to take a tour of
some variety research trials in Manitoba. Page is sitting front row at left. I
can’t remember where we all were exactly. The fella standing behind Page, in
short pants is Todd Hyra and he was looking after all these research trials.
Todd is now business manager for SeCan, based in Winnipeg. Also on this hayride
are other writing legends such as Dave Wreford, Country Guide Editor, Andy
Sirski, editor of Grainews and Gren Winslow, Canadian Cattleman editor. There is also Maggie Vancamp, a current Country Guide field editor in Ontario, and I believe, Jay Whetter, former Country Guide editor, now with the Canola Council of Canada. The rest I am not sure.
Okay, so that is walk down memory lane, thanks to that
Twitter photo. I will get around to writing about how to double your profits
with malt barley and canola, but first I have to find Janet and Mary it must be time for lunch.
Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or
by email at [email protected]