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These are some incredible times for the agri-food industry, and that tends to be a bit of an understatement.


September 26, 2008
By Ralph Pearce

These are some incredible times for the agri-food industry, and that tends to be a bit of an understatement.

Seemingly overnight, farming is a hot topic, not just in rural communities across the country, but in the large urban centres, as well. It is not to say that agriculture is “suddenly sexy,” but it is making its way into the urban media in many ways. Food prices, the pressing energy situation, the environment: all have provided fodder for those minding the media under the big-city lights.

 Such a development is not necessarily a bad thing. Becoming more aware of a situation has its advantages and disadvantages. The good news is that agriculture is becoming increasingly important to Canadians; they want to learn more about farming, its practices and its impact on their daily lives.
The challenge then, is to get fair and accurate reporting of news, events and conditions in rural Canada, particularly for the vast majority of urbanites who are one or two generations removed from the farm. The large city dailies, talk radio programs and television news segments are doing a better job of presenting some semblance of life in the country. Unfortunately, there are still those instances where they do a solid job of reporting, but throw in something a little too sensationalistic to cloud the effort.

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Maybe that is the difference between farm writing and media reporting: understanding the dif-ference between providing information and having to sell a story. The media do the latter but farm writing, particularly for readers who are growers, and industry stakeholders must offer balance and accuracy.

Balance and accuracy are of particular importance for us at Top Crop Manager. They are two parts of a number of key components that we have worked hard to entrench as guiding principles, including quality and integrity. We strive to incorporate these properties with each story and each issue.
In this, our third annual cereal focus issue, we concentrate on a variety of topics that pertain to your farm, from new market opportunities for different cereals to trends and technologies and business manage-ment.  As we move forward in this time of “change and exchange,” the demands to keep pace become more challenging. Technology is evolving fast than ever, and demands from consumers is likely to push opportunities for growers and the farm sector as a whole, towards new and exciting horizons.  It’s harried and hectic, but it is the challenge we welcome, and have come to expect, every day. We also invite you to become an active participant in developing stories that reflect that frenetic pace; if you have suggestions on topics you want covered, by all means, drop me a line.

The door is always open, the information exchange ongoing.
At Top Crop Manager, that much is never going to change. n