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Farm Progress receives journalism award

NAAJ’s Audrey Mackiewicz Special Award recognizes expansion of ag coverage.

Tim Hearden, Western Farm Press

April 17, 2024

2 Min Read
Mackiewicz Award by North American Agricultural Journalists
Des Keller, NAAJ immediate past president, handing Tim Hearden, Western Farm Press editor, the Audrey Mackiewicz Special Award.NAAJ

Farm Progress has received an award from North American Agricultural Journalists for expanding its coverage of agriculture.

The organization was given the Audrey Mackiewicz Special Award on April 15 for acquiring the annual Organic Grower Summit and committing to expand its coverage of organic and sustainable agriculture.

The award was presented during a reception at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“At Farm Progress, we are very excited about acquiring the Organic Grower Summit,” said Don Tourte, the company’s senior vice president of sales and events. “It strengthens our commitment to organic crops. I look forward to seeing how we continue to grow and expand in this key market segment.”

Farm Progress produces four national and 17 regional agribusiness-centered publications, including Western Farm Press.

NAAJ is a professional association of agricultural editors and writers in the U.S. and Canada, including members from both mainstream and industry-specific publications. The award honors Audrey Mackiewicz, a former Ohio newswoman who was the NAAJ’s first female president and long-time executive secretary-treasurer.

The award is given to independent news organizations and wire services that have expanded their coverage of ag. Feedstuffs, a Farm Progress publication, won the award in 2022.

The growers’ summit, sponsored by the Organic Produce Network (acquired by Farm Progress parent company Informa) and Western Growers, was held in late November 2023 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Spa in Monterey, Calif., and included workshops, a trade show and a Grower of the Year award given to Rod Braga of Soledad, Calif.-based Braga Fresh.

Pest management, production challenges and technological advances were key discussion topics at the sixth annual summit, which was attended by about 600 attendees. The conference featured a keynote session on the state of organic production and a trade show with exhibits related to soil amendment, ag technology, food safety and equipment.

OGS coverage

Numerous articles about the summit were published on Western Farm Press’ and Farm Progress’ websites before, during and after the event, including:

Organic Grower Summit to provide firsthand knowledge

Organic Grower Summit speaker list set

Session to prep organic growers for deadline

Organic produce sales edge up again

Growers, firms gather at organic summit

Organic deadline presents new challenges

AI adoption still slow in specialty crops

Organic producers primed for the future

How organic growers solve challenges: ‘Don’t give up’

In addition, a package on OGS anchored the January 2024 print edition of Western Farm Press.

While the efforts to present and cover this summit were company-wide, key personnel on this project included Farm Progress Senior Vice President for Operations Greg Frye; Tourte; Senior Executive Editor Mike Wilson; Senior Executive for Content Eric Braun; Director of Marketing and Product Development Emily Mauermann; and Western Farm Press editors Tim Hearden and Todd Fitchette.

The 2024 Organic Grower Summit will be held Dec. 4-5 in Monterey. To make suggestions about possible session topics, contact Wilson at [email protected], Hearden at [email protected], or Fitchette at [email protected].

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