In today’s episode we sit down with Owen Roberts, an instructor and faculty member at the University of Illinois in the Agricultural Leadership and Communications Program. Owen joins us to discuss his career and why communication is key in agriculture.
Growing up in Mitchell’s Bay, Owen’s father was a conservation officer, and his mother’s family were farmers. The town was a renowned hunting and fishing spot, and his family would sell their produce there. He worked on farms in the area and saw the produce side of the industry close up. From there, he studied journalism in university and bounced around the country working for different papers.
When an opportunity came up to work in the agriculture section of an Alberta paper, he was hesitant, but it turned out to be a goldmine of stories. Agricultural research was booming and he went on to write for the University of Guelph, communicating about the research that was underway. It went from a 1-year contract to a 33-year career.
In this conversation we touch on many subjects, including how the pandemic has opened the publics’ eyes to the complexities of the food supply chain and inflation. The agriculture sector is full of great stories and it is necessary to get those stories out there in a way that connects with the public.
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