This October I received an email that stunned me. It was an email from Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan informing me that I had been selected as their 2021 recipient of their Champion Award. I had no idea that I’d been nominated as a candidate and so I was very surprised, and thrilled, to learn the news.
Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan presents this award annually, to an individual “who has taken the initiative to engage or educate consumers about food and farming in our province.” They also seek nominees that use “their skills to help inform consumers about production practices and have done a measurable job of promoting our industry.” First awarded in 2016, five exceptional recipients have been recognized for their contributions: Tiffany Martinka, Lesley Kelly, Sherri Grant, Adrienne Ivy, and Dr. Leigh Rosengren. To be included in this group of distinguished and accomplished women is a true honour. The award was also provided to SaskCanola in 2016 for its exceptional work in communications.
While I was the recipient of the award, I can’t take all the credit. My research team and students make huge contributions to my ability to communicate. Without the hard work and high-quality research of Savannah Gleim, Rim Lassoued, Chelsea Sutherland, Diego Macall, and Jordan Schiewe, my ability to communicate information would be greatly restricted. The award signifies how important communicating fact-based evidence about agriculture is for the entire team.
Thanks also need to be given to my AREC 251 students over the years. Each fall, students in this class are tasked to write a policy blog as an assignment. The top student blogs are then published on my blog website, SAIFood, as student blogs. These blogs are very popular as they provide a wide range of policy perspectives from the youth of our agriculture and those who will shape its future. I’d like to thank all the students over the years that have selflessly made this extra effort, allowing their blog to be published. The students receive no additional academic credit for publishing their blog and all students make an extra revision to their blog to make it publishable. It is their effort and interest in sharing both what they have learned and their perspectives on the policy that matters to them which is a great gift as an educator to share with you all.
It is a joy to be able to work as closely with agriculture as I do. I simply can’t imagine a better job to have. I extend a heartfelt thank you to Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan for selecting me to be this year’s recipient. I look forward to being a champion for agriculture for many years to come.