Have you ever had the experience of working with people who are so excited and enthused about a project that it rubs off on you? I love that feeling.
I had that experience earlier this week when I had a conference call meeting with three people from Atlantic Canada. Together, we’re working to start a regional branch of our national farm writers’ guild, the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (CFWF).
Up front, I have to say that the desire to start our own group is in no way a reflection of the branch we currently belong to, the Eastern Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (ECFWA). The simple vastness of Canada and the geographic divide between the majority of our current ECFWA members means farm writers in Atlantic Canada feel disconnected.
Personally, the desire to gather together with some of our own is inspired by ECFWA, as well as CFWF and our international group, the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists (IFAJ). Once I experienced gatherings with like-minded individuals, I felt the aspiration to do it more often with those closer to me.
Not all farm writers in Atlantic Canada are onboard with the formation of a regional group. Some have said they want to maintain connections with former colleagues within ECFWA, while others may not be interested in the work involved in setting up a new organization (not that anyone has said that to me, I’m just speculating). I hope they’ll reconsider.
The folks I met with earlier this week are keen and ready to get a local group formed. We’re pooling our talents to host a day of farm and research centre tours on June 4.
Early in my career when I wrote for daily newspapers from rural New Brunswick, I kept hearing the untold stories of farmers and opted to help be one of their voices. From that, I found out about CFWF and that connection eventually led me to focus my career on agriculture writing.
Through CFWF, I’ve toured farms across the country, met agriculture experts and associates, gained writing and editing jobs and met hundreds of Canadian farmers. I’ve also met a lot of great people and developed some very good friendships.
Cumulatively, what the organizations have given me inspire me to help create like opportunities for farm writers in Atlantic Canada. I hope we’ll create a network, come to count on each other and grow opportunities for ourselves.
Then together, we can help farmers tell their stories about the food they grow for us.