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Vol.102 Issue 11

November 2016 1.pdf


It’s all about effective comunication
[Bob Collins]

As announced in the October edition, Country Life in BC has a new publisher. The paper has been sold for the eighth time in its 102-year existence. That it has reached this age, is still thriving and has escaped the clutches of the corporate media makes this paper an anomaly.

But while 102 years is a remarkable milestone, age alone is no guarantee of continued success. (The 141-year history of the Nanaimo Daily Free Press ended in 2016 when owner Black Press pulled the plug on the venerable paper.)

No publication exists for more than a hundred years without a close call and Country Life in BC is no exception. The timely arrival of publishers willing to take the helm and change course has kept the paper off the rocks a couple of times – most recently in 2000, when it withered to half its current size.


It sits in your hands now, thanks largely to the efforts of now retired publisher Peter Wilding, long time editor Cathy Glover and veteran writer David Schmidt. As Glover takes over as Country Life’s eighth publisher, her and Schmidt’s experience and commitment should spearhead a seamless transition.

Country Life in BC is published for a very specific audience: commercial agriculture in BC. Writing to its interests allows the paper to focus exclusively on news and issues that are important to BC farmers and ranchers. Flip through the paper: it is a nuts and bolts, meat and potatoes, low frills publication. It is relevant to the commercial industry and the businesses supporting it. Check out the advertising: nuts and bolts, meat and potatoes, commercial ag.


This all seems like a pretty straight-forward formula but there is a big complication to making it work. It’s all fine and good to focus on BC agriculture, but it is a daunting task to get BC agriculture in a single lens. This is a big province and it has more climatic, geographic and agricultural diversity than any other in the country. It’s a long way from kiwis in Saanich to canola in Cecil Lake, or from 1,900 mm of rain in the Alberni Valley to 153 mm in Ashcroft, or from an average January low of -17 in Fort St John to +6 in Victoria, or from shell fish in Sechelt to silage in Sicamous.

The differences are endless.

Climatic zones in BC range from 2 to 8, including some that are found nowhere else in the country. Only 3% of BC’s land area has agricultural potential and much of that 3% is scattered in valleys throughout the province. Those valleys are separated by mountain ranges.

The industry is geographically fragmented, climatically fragmented and differentiated by countless crops and cultural practices. Throw nearly 20,000 farms into the mix and it’s not hard see what a tall order it is to stay engaged and informed in it all and communicate what is timely and relevant every month. Country Life in BC has been doing just that for more than 100 years and is committed to carry on and build on that proud tradition.


While communication is what Country Life is all about, effective communication is a two way street. We’re proud of BC agriculture and grateful for the opportunity to serve it. In order to do that even better, we need to hear from you. What do you like or not like about CLBC? What would you like more of? Less of? What is missing? In the coming weeks (and months), some of you may be contacted by telephone to answer a random survey. Please spare a few minutes to help us understand how we might improve. If you have something to tell us and you don’t want to chance the random survey, please email your thoughts to [publisher@countrylifeinbc].