Alberta Farmer wins CFWF awards

An investigative report that revealed McDonald’s had chosen Canada as the site of its “sustainable beef” pilot project has been honoured by the Canadian Farm Writers Federation.

Alberta Farmer reporter Alexis Kienlen won a silver award in the Weekly Press Reporting category for her story on how the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef were working with the fast-food giant.

“This pilot program by the country’s largest beef buyer may lead to major changes, and is something everyone in the sector should be aware of,” said Alberta Farmer editor Glenn Cheater.

“Alexis not only broke this story but has worked with colleague Jennifer Blair to follow it as it develops. It’s not just about McDonald’s, but about BIXS 2.0, changes to the Verified Beef Program, and ultimately, opportunities for producers to grow their markets and find new routes to profitability.

“These are the types of stories the paper needs to be covering.”

Online news editor Dave Bedard received a bronze award for his work on albertafarmexpress.ca while Manitoba Co-operator editor Laura Rance won the Press Editorial category for an editorial that explored how the different voices in the debate over genetically modified organisms are portrayed. Gold in the Weekly Press Reporting category went to Co-operator reporter Lorraine Stevenson for her coverage of a Manitoba farm family trying to rebuild its on-farm prosciutto-making business after resolving a dispute with provincial health inspectors over how food safety regulations are applied.

The Canadian Farm Writers Federation represents almost 350 English-speaking agricultural journalists, broadcasters and communicators from across Canada.

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