A regular contributor to the Ontario Farmer, Sharon also freelances for the Western Producer and other publications, including Today’s Farmer, Rural Delivery, Regional Country News and Metroland. Sharon’s involvement with CFWF, her plans for publishing reports on her trip and her essay on how she would represent Canadian agriculture to other international members were key factors in the judges’ decision to select her application.
The bursary will cover up to $2500 of registration and travel expenses to attend the 2015 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress, in Hamilton, New Zealand. As the successful applicant, Sharon will be sharing information gathered at the Congress with her fellow farm writers as well as a broader audience.
“Attending IFAJ 2015 provides an opportunity to explore New Zealand and connect with writers and photographers from around the world to learn about agriculture and food production ‘down under.’” said Sharon. “IFAJ provides an opportunity to network globally and connect with people who are passionate about sharing and telling agriculture’s story.”
“You cannot put a value on networking opportunities with colleagues; it is just something that you need to do for professional development. I enjoy meeting new people, building connections and fostering good relationships with other people” she added. “Too often we get busy with day-to-day commitments and do not take time to recharge and to connect with others in the industry.”
Sharon is a graduate from the University of Guelph and the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program. She resides in Wellington County, Ontario, on the family farm with husband Walter and four children. As a member of a family whose business is manufacturing farm machinery, she brings an interesting perspective to the conference. She says she has been blessed with the opportunity to travel across Canada and USA camera in hand, photographing and writing about agriculture in North America.
“We have appreciated the opportunity to be involved with Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation over the years, ” said Trish Jordan, Public and Industry Affairs Director with Monsanto Canada. “Our support for the IFAJ bursary is an extension of the collaborative work we do together and I think it is great that Canadian farm journalists want to explore and learn about agriculture in different parts of the world.”