Our 2017 Executive
Trevor Hargreaves, President - email@example.com
Cheryl Davie, Vice President - cheryldavie@BCChicken.ca
David Schmidt, Treasurer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer and past president of the B.C. Farm Writers Association and a past director and president of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation, David Schmidt is editor emeritus of Country Life in B.C. and contributes to other regional and national agricultural magazines. David grew up on a mixed/dairy farm in the Fraser Valley. He has a BA in creative writing from the University of B.C. and has been covering agriculture since 1985. His awards include being named B.C.'s Agriculturist of the Year in 2000 and receiving the CFWF Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. When not involved in agriculture, David provides personal and small business tax services and plays Tournament Bridge. He is treasurer and a past president of the B.C.-Washington-Alaska District of the American Contract Bridge League.
Ronda Payne, Secretary - email@example.com
A writer since she could hold a pen, Ronda Payne is passionate about her craft. A regular contributor to IHR (Integrated Health Retailer) and Country Life in BC, Ronda continues to grow in her writing career. She joyfully lives in Maple Ridge, BC in "yet another" renovation project home with her husband and pets.
Tamara Leigh, BC Director to CFWF - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tamara Leigh is a writer and communications consultant based on Vancouver Island. She currently serves as BC representative on the board of the CFWF. Tamara grew up mucking out barns and mending fences. A transplanted Prairie girl, she has a great appreciation for the diversity, geography and nuances of the agriculture sector in BC. Tamara has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Drama from the University of Alberta, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations Management from Royal Roads University.
Meet our other members
(in alphabetical order)
Fran is the editor of Agri Digest Online, the pan-Canadian journal of issues in agriculture.
Madeleine Baerg is a freelance writer and communications consultant whose specialty and passion is all things agriculture. Whether she is profiling a start-up agribusiness, outlining cutting edge agronomics, or writing a product advertorial, Madeleine’s knack is capturing the heart behind the story, helping readers understand why they need to care about the topic too.
After spending a decade in the corporate world, Madeleine traded a high-rise window for a home office overlooking the family farm’s acres of peach trees and green fields of sheep. She currently writes regularly for half a dozen agricultural companies and publications, and takes on internal and external communications projects for a broad range of clients.
Gary and Karen Booy
For the last fourteen years, Gary and Karen Booy have been operating BC Holstein News from their beautiful farm, Dream Acres Dairy, in the heart of BC dairy land. Under their ownership, the paper, like the industry, has thrived and grown, more than doubling in size from the original paper. Karen and Gary also own a little "Piece of Heaven," their beautiful property located in the majestic Rockies, just a few hours from Dream Acres. Their friendly personalities infuse both of their homes with a sunshine warmth that welcomes everyone to feel right at home. The four-legged family members from the prized Holsteins to the independent felines thrive in this loving environment. Home and work blend easily, well, almost always, (deadlines can be crazy times) but they would have it no other way loving their lives and living their dream.
Amanda Brittain is the Manager of Communications & Marketing for the BC Egg Marketing Board. Amanda has more than 20 years of communications experience with various organizations in BC. At BC Egg, Amanda is responsible for all communications and marketing activities including the e-newsletters, website, events and sponsorships. She concentrates on ensuring all activities are strategically planned and support BC Egg’s brand. She holds a master's degree in communications from Royal Roads University and is an Accredited Business Communicator with the International Association of Business Communicators.
Bob has been a columnist for Country Life in BC for over 20 years. He has written four books of rural humour and has twice been short-listed for the Stephen Leacok Prize."
Tom Henry is the editor of Small Farm Canada magazine.
Holly Jackson was raised on a ranch south of Kamloops, BC. After living all over the province from Victoria to Fort Nelson, she has returned to her hometown and recently become the Communications Co-ordinator for BC Cattlemen's Association and Editor of Beef in BC. Holly has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from the University of Victoria.
Barbara Johnstone Grimmer
Barbara Johnstone Grimmer is an agrologist who lives and writes from the Gulf Islands. She writes a regular column on farm life and farm issues for the Islands Independent community newspaper called "The Farmer's Stand". She is also a regular contributor to the BC Sheep Federation's publication The N'Ewes. Her writings are reproduced with photos, videos and added thoughts and gleanings in her blog.
Susan McIver has written a biweekly column, Inside Agriculture, for the Penticton Herald since 1998. She is regular contributor to the BC Fruit Growers’ Magazine and Country Life in B.C. and occasionally has articles in The Western Producer, Small Farm Canada and Okanagan Life. A former academic and B.C. coroner, Susan is the author of two books, Medical Nightmares: The Human Face of Errors, and with co-author Robin Wyndham, After the Error: Speaking Out About Patient Safety to Save Lives.
Nadia Shah holds a degree in Communication from Simon Fraser University. She has considerable experience in the agriculture industry through her previous work with BC Frozen Foods Ltd. Nadia holds the position of Project Manager at the BC Dairy and heads the Mobile Dairy Classroom Experience, animal welfare initiatives, and the BC Milk Blast newsletter. In her spare time Nadia enjoys painting, singing and spending time with her family.
Myrna Stark Leader
An experienced writer and accredited communications professional, and Sask. transplant to Kelowna, Myrna contributes to Country Life In BC and additional publications and projects. Although she didn’t grow up farming (both sets of grandparents were grain farmers), she is intrigued and fascinated by the innovation, entrepreneurs and variety of issues in agriculture. Myrna’s goal is to help share information and stories in a way that resonates. She’s past-president and a former, long-serving director of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation, a former Saskatchewan Farm Writers’ Association director and has been a trusted advisor to senior leadership on media and communications matters in municipal, provincial and federal gov’ts, as well as the private sector. Her work has been recognized with two IABC Gold Quill awards. Myrna loves her new home in BC and continues seeking new clients.
Danielle naturally fell into communications and public relations while working with the City of Abbotsford for nearly nine years. Her notable roles include Economic Development Coordinator where she worked on investment and business attraction and the other was the organization’s Communications & PR Specialist. While working full-time, she spent her evenings and weekends completing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of the Fraser Valley. In 2014, Danielle left her government job when offered to be part of a small business start-up in the private sector to grow the organization’s communications and business operations function as the Communications Director. Once structure and process was implemented and running smoothly, Danielle found “greener pastures” at the BC Agriculture Council as their Director of Communications and Engagement in 2017.
Danielle’s greatest strength is found in her innate ability to build and cultivate relationships. A key role in this position is building connections between members and representing the broad interests of B.C. farmers and ranchers.
Sandra Tretick is a freelance communicator and past treasurer of the B.C. Farm Writers Association. Only one generation removed from the farm, Sandra has been listening to stories about life on the farm her whole life, and writing about agriculture, the environment, technology and forestry since 1992. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Simon Fraser University with a specialty in marketing, and has worked with the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals and Forintek Canada Corp. Although Sandra is currently cruising in Southeast Asia with her husband and their cat on M/V MOKEN, she is available for short-term freelance projects that involve writing, editing, social media and marketing communications. You can reach Sandra by email at sandratretick[at]gmail.com or leave a voice message at 604-259-9286.
Members of the BC Farm Writers Association contribute to the following publications:
BC Agriculture Media
BC Berry Grower
BC Fruit Grower
BC Holstein News
BC Milk Blast
Beef in BC
British Columbia Organic Grower
Country Life in BC
Grapes to Wine Magazine
Orchard & Vine Magazine
Modern Agriculture Magazine
West Coast Farmer
Canadian Agriculture Media
Alberta Farmer Express
Canadian Farm Manager
Canadian Organic Grower
Canadian Poultry Magazine
Farming for Tomorrow
Fruit & Vegetable Magazine
Prairie Hog Country
Small Farm Canada
The Western Producer
Top Crop Manager
Western Dairy Farmer
BC Community Newspapers
Comox Valley Record
Kamloops Daily News
Kelowna Capital News