In April of 1997 a young writer, fresh out of college, started on the first phase of his career at a publisher working on ag magazines. That writer was me, and the first magazine I was assigned to work on was The Communicator. Things have changed a lot since then.

The company I was working at had three full-time employees, including myself, and we all had to do a little bit of everything. I wrote stories, I sold ads and I designed the magazine. Today, with this issue, I assume the mantle of editor.

Now, to be fair, it didn’t take me almost 23 years to finally get the top job – I’ve done a few things in between. But, for most of those years, I have been working with CAAR in some capacity. I’ve worked with every executive director and communications manager that has been at CAAR since it formed in 1995, and on almost every project that has involved communicating with members.

With CAAR about to enter its 25th year, I look back and am reminded just how much has changed, both for my own career and for CAAR. Now, I won’t use all the precious space I am afforded here to reminisce – that’s what the CAAR Conference is for – but I will say that change is the one constant we can count on.

My point is that my assumption of the role of editor is not without a history of working with the association and I’d like to reassure our members that they can still count on the same editorial excellence that The Communicator’s previous editor, Laura Wiens, brought to the job.

While this issue brings a shakeup to the editor’s desk, you will still see that many of the bylines on the stories in this issue are Laura Wiens, editor of this magazine, the CAAR Network and for the past two years.

She is still working hard to tell your stories, but the time has come to spread some of the workload around and let her concentrate on what she loves to do most – which is write.

So, you will continue to see Laura’s byline in future issues alongside that of Rebecca Hadfield, who has also assumed the role of online editor for the CAAR Network and While the deck has been shuffled, the team is still intact.

And finally, I’d like to congratulate Laura on being one of three finalists for the 2019 Best of CAMA (Canadian Agri-Marketing Association) “News or Feature Article” award for “A Persistent Perception Challenge” – a story she wrote for the December 2018 issue of The Communicator.

The minute I finished reading that story, if I may reminisce, I remarked to Laura that it should be entered in the Best of CAMA. Not only was it great writing worthy of reward, but it was great story about the challenges our industry faces in growing safe and abundant food that needed to be shared.

That it didn’t take top honours doesn’t make me any less proud that it came from the keyboard of one of our writers and that our peers chose to include it with such excellent company. Congratulations, to the winners and to Laura.


Jody Dundas

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