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FBC editorial chief wins major international awards

Recognition for her series on conservation agriculture in Africa

Laura Rance
Erwin Northoff (r), chief of media for FAO, presents the Star Prize to Laura Rance at the 2016 IFAJ Congress in Bonn, Germany. (

Laura Rance, editorial director of Farm Business Communications and editor of the Manitoba Co-operator, has won two major international awards for her work on African agriculture.

Rance won the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Star Prize for ‘Africa’s Hunger Games,’ published in the Winnipeg Free Press in April 2015. The same piece was awarded the IFAJ-FAO Award for Excellence in Global Food Security Reporting, a new award sponsored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the IFAJ.

The feature was based on a series of articles which ran earlier in the Manitoba Co-operator and Alberta Farmer Express. Rance wrote the series about her five-week project on secondment to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in Africa. It focused on conservation agriculture practices and their role in conserving soil in the region.

Rance received the awards July 14 at the 2016 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) congress in Bonn, Germany.

“This is an excellent piece of journalism; the first-person approach allows the author to weave human emotion into this comprehensive piece, filled with facts and expertise on both sides of the issue,” said award judges for the IFAJ Star Prize.

“Laura Rance’s article is a perfect example of presenting the complex scientific and social problems of soil management in poor countries to a broader audience,” said FAO chief of media relations Erwin Northoff, one of the judges for the IFAJ-FAO Award.

“Stories like this one need to be told and I am grateful for the recognition this one has received. But it is important to also acknowledge the organizations that made doing this research possible and the people who so graciously shared glimpses of their lives,” Rance said at the IFAJ meeting in Bonn. — Network

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COPA Medallion COPA finalist in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
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