By Chris Clayton, DTN/The Progressive Farmer
Would you like to learn more about covering the farm bill and environmental issues that impact your beat or region of the country?
The Society of Environmental Journalism has a workshop Oct. 4 as part of the SEJ conference Oct. 4-7. The workshop has fellowships available to offset the travel costs for professionals who would like to attend the workshop and stay for the conference.
The workshop is on Wed., Oct. 4 at the beginning of the conference and will run from 8-3 p.m., with a couple of panel discussions focusing on the farm bill, as well as a tour/discussion of food security and a local community garden and food bank.
As the workshop coordinator, Pittsburgh will be the fourth SEJ conference I’ve attended. The others were in Texas and Oklahoma, which certainly have broader agricultural connections. This past April, I also attended a workshop in Dallas tied to Earth Day Texas events. In each event I have picked up a lot of valuable knowledge about different ways to approach conservation or environmental topics such as property rights, water quality, soil erosion and climate change. There’s also an understanding at SEJ that agriculture needs more attention. AAEA members who come to Pittsburgh would actually find themselves offering a lot of insight to others about how to approach issues different for a rural or farm audience.
8 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-9:45 Veteran reporters covering the farm bill explain the nuances of the legislation and issues impacting different audiences.
Chuck Abbott, a long-time Reuters reporter who now covers farm-policy issues for the Food and Environment Reporting Network.
Ellyn Ferguson, agricultural reporter for CQ Roll Call (tentative and possibly remote Skype)
Chris Clayton, moderator, farm-policy editor for DTN/The Progressive Farmer
9:45-10 a.m. Break
10:00 -11:30 Representatives from environmental groups explain their agendas for the farm bill and explain the differences in the legislation between the carrot and the stick approach.
Craig Cox, farm policy expert for Environmental Working Group
Ferd Hoefner, policy director for the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
11:45 Load buses for lunch and a tour of urban agricultural businesses and groups in the Pittsburgh area.
3 p.m. Return back to the hotel.
I am if there is any interest from AAEA members to attend this event and stay for as much of the SEJ conference as you would like to attend. http://www.sej.org/sej-annual-conferences/AC2017-agenda
SEJ can cover your airfare, lodging and general registration fees. We want to spread this wealth as far as possible, so any expense you can pick up yourself, or from your employer, is appreciated. Also, please look for lowest airfare you can find and book asap. We also expect that you’ll share a room to save us expense and an SEJ coordinator can help with roommate matching. Finally, while we pick up general registration and this includes many meals, coffee breaks and receptions, it doesn’t include three ticketed items that we make everyone pay for themselves, that is, our Thursday all-day tours, the Friday night dinner party, and the Sunday morning breakfast program and airport transportation.
Anyone interested in applying, please reach out to Chris.Clayton@dtn.com.