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Celebrating Lifetime Achievement in Agricultural Journalism & Communications

(Calgary, Alberta) Two of Canada’s finest agricultural journalists and communicators were honored at the 2015 Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (CFWF) Awards Banquet, held in conjunction with CFWF’s annual conference at the Sheraton Cavalier Calgary.

John Morriss, Associate Publisher of Farm Business Communications, and Janet Kanters, Editor at Top Crop Manager and President of Trapper Enterprises, are the first recipients of this new award celebrating lifetime achievement by honouring long-serving members who have made outstanding contributions to the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation and to the agricultural communications or media industries. A short biography of the two recipients is attached.

Recipients of the CFWF Lifetime Achievement Award in Agricultural Journalism & Communications must have made a contribution of outstanding and lasting importance to the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation. This new award recognizes an accumulation of years of service and exemplary leadership at both the national and international levels, as well as significant contributions to agricultural journalism or communications.

CFWF ( represents almost 350 English-speaking agricultural journalists, broadcasters and

communicators from across Canada through six regional associations in Atlantic Canada, Eastern Canada, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.


For more information, contact:

Hugh Maynard

2015 CFWF Awards Chair

CFWF 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

John Morriss                                                                          

Associate Publisher

Farm Business Communications

Although he trained as a race car driver, John Morriss opted for a career that promised even more excitement — writing about agriculture. Over the past four decades, he has witnessed a remarkable transformation of Prairie agriculture and played a significant role chronicling the change.

John started out as a researcher with the Biomass Energy Institute in Winnipeg. In 1975, he moved to the Canada Grains Council to manage a travelling display for the Justice Emmett Hall commission on grain handling and transportation. He then worked as a freelance agricultural writer, serving as field editor for Grainews and writing for other farm publications. In 1989, he was appointed publisher and editor of the Manitoba Co-operator. In March 2002, John and six former Co-operator colleagues started the Farmers’ Independent Weekly, a new publication for Manitoba farmers. In February 2007, the FIW merged with the Manitoba Co-operator under its new owner, Glacier Ventures, the owner of Farm Business Communications (FBC). All staff returned to the Co-operator or to new roles with FBC.

John is now associate publisher and editorial director of FBC, Canada’s largest agricultural publishing group, which produces Canadian Cattlemen, Country Guide, Grainews, Canola Guide, Alberta Farmer Express, and the Manitoba Co-operator.

Among John’s writing awards was the Canadian Farm Writers Federation Gold Award in 1996 for best feature for a series on food aid projects in Ethiopia and Eritrea. In 2006, he received the Agri-Marketer of the year award from the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association. He is a past-president of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation (CFWF), and a former director with CFWF and Farm Radio International, which delivers extension information to farmers in Africa.

John has been active in the provincial and national associations representing Canadian farm writers for most of his career, undertaking numerous roles himself and making it possible for junior employees to participate.

Janet Kanters                                                                         

Editor, Top Crop Manager

President, Trapper Enterprises

A graduate of Mount Royal University with a degree in journalism, Janet has held journalist and editor positions at publications like Top Crop Manager and Alberta Farmer Express, operated stakeholder communications at the Beef Information Centre and managed accounts at 31st Line Strategic Communications all while  holding the position of president of Trapper Enterprises, her freelance writing and communications business.

Her experience in the agricultural communications and journalism industry is solid. She’s one of the few in the country to work as staff and freelance, both in journalism and communications. This agility gives her an unparalleled understanding of the CFWF membership. Always enthusiastic for professional development, Janet was the driving force behind the Alberta Farm Writers Association for over 20 years.

At the international level, Janet was one of CFWF’s prime representatives for several years, and encouraged CFWF to adopt a more formalized approach of representation at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists. Janet was also one of the main drivers who first brought home the proposal of CFWF hosting an international farm writer conference – an idea which bloomed into the 2011 Canadian congress and, in many ways, put Canada on the map within IFAJ. The lasting financial success of the congress has had a major impact on CFWF and led to the creation of the Professional Development Fund.