by Tamara Leigh
SASKATOON – Country Life in BC’s own David Schmidt was honoured with a lifetime achievement award in September by the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (CFWF). The award recognizes long-
Schmidt has been a leader within BC’s farm writing community for over 30 years. His commitment and skill as a farm journalist is recognized and respected across commodities and throughout the province.
“No one has written more words about BC agriculture than David Schmidt,” says Cathy Glover, who has worked with David at Country Life in BC for the past 17 years. “He is the face of Country Life in BC among most of the farm leaders in this province, and his reputation as a farm reporter is second to none.”
Beyond the page, his commitment to the revitalization and leadership of the BC Farm Writers’ Association and the farm writing community in BC has been unwavering since he joined the organization in 1985. Nationally, he served as president of the CFWF from 1997-
“David he has been an excellent mentor and longtime contributor to the BC agriculture media scene. It’s great to see him get this level of recognition,” says CFWF president Crystal Jorgenson.
David grew up on a mixed dairy farm in the Fraser Valley, and has always stayed close to his roots. He has a degree in creative writing from the University of BC and has been covering agriculture for 31 years. He has won numerous awards including being named BC’s Agriculturist of the Year in 2000 by the BC Institute of Agrologists.
“I don’t do it for the glory and the honour, but it’s sure nice to get the recognition,” says Schmidt, who accepted the award at the CFWF awards dinner in Saskatoon. “Most of the jobs I’ve had over the years have been through referrals and people I’ve met through this group. Even Country Life in BC was a referral.”
“One of the things that I appreciate writing about agriculture is that I have never had to compromise my own values in writing about it,” he says. “I’ve tried to be fair and honest. I tried to write for my audience and maybe that’s why people are still reading me. I don’t write for the lady in downtown Vancouver; I write for the guy who’s trying to make a living farming.”
Known for his tremendous depth of knowledge about agriculture and local history, Schmidt has earned the respect of editors, colleagues and sources alike.
“In the farming culture of British Columbia, the words ‘David Schmidt’ and “agriculture” go hand in hand,” says Peter Wilding, the newly retired editor of Country Life in BC. “David has always had the respect of farmers, government representatives, farm associations and colleagues. In the age of shoddy journalism, bias and partisanship, David has consistently shown the highest ethical standards in the practice of his craft and has been an inspiration to many people. He’s never let us down.”
Despite his years of experience and continuous presence at agriculture events across the province, Schmidt shows few signs of slowing down or losing his passion for agriculture.
“The biggest reward is that people still want to read my stories. I must be doing something right,” he says with a grin as he trots off to find the next scoop.
VANCOUVER – Lower Mainland farmland could be sacrificed to ensure agri-food exports can move to market quickly and efficiently, federal […]
Vol. 102 Issue 11
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
Province boosts ag spending
It’s a draw!
Editorial: Vice grip
Back Forty: Snow days make good days for seed selection
Viewpoint: Farmers need to prepare for annual snow melt
Smooth start to season as foreign workers arrive
Sidebar: Province mulls piece rates
Late winter has some Okanagan growers on edge
Ag show attracts near-record attendance
Ag Briefs: Traceability funding available for producers
Ag Briefs: Cattlemen’s launches webinar series
Ag Briefs: Grant winner announced
Labour remains a priority for fruit growers
Dairy, aquaculture take home awards at gala
Farmers need to prepare for uncertainty
Ag critic listens to concerns at farmers’ institute
Growers are responsible for workers’ safety
Robotic milkers sized up during dairy tour
Safe, high-quality silage depends on preparation
Diversification makes orchard a landmark
Ranchers need to match forage with herd needs
Producers question new Indigenous rights law
Hosting TRU students a way to give back
Livestock co-op provides selling, buying options
Sidebar: Market set to stay steady
Research: Bluetongue outbreaks expected to increase
Filling a niche for gourmet mushrooms
Regulations, housing key issues in Langley
Sheep producers seeing value in genetic program
Above and beyond
Vegetation fundamental to farms, landscape
Studies continue on forage, corn crop pests
4-H BC leader singled out
Growers go with the grain of beer revival
Agri-tourism has plenty of room for growth
Rose stem girdler poses threat to cranberries
Site prep critical for healthy hazelnut orchards
Sidebar: BC renewal program opens up
Wannabe: Renewal comes with a new generation of farmers
Woodshed: Deborah and Doug McLeod turn up the heat
A good place to meet up
Jude’s Kitchen: Celebrate spring by eating outside