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News from Recent Star Prize Winners

2011 Australian Star Prize for Rural Broadcasting Winner now fronting Landline

Pip Courtney (2011 Australian Star Prize Winner for Rural Broadcasting) is now fronting the very popular ABC rural news program, Landline. 

Landline has consistently been the most watched program in the ABC News Sunday schedule since its inception in 1991.

Pip's in-depth analysis of the controversy over coal seam gas developments on prime farmland was judged the best television entry and the best broadcast story overall by the ACAJ last year.  It went on to take out the same prizes at an international level in the IFAJ awards announced in Canada last September.

Pip is also a finalist for this year's Queensland Rural Woman of the Year award.

Reports from Congress.....Ontario 2011......

Sydney based journalist, Richard Fox (The Land), winner of  the 2011 Farm Writers’ Star Prize for Rural Writing in NSW & the ACT – which includes a trip to the IFAJ Congress in Ontario, Canada funded by Farm Writers - has sent his second set of comments direct from the Congress........

Australia's wine troubles may not be over, but Aussie knowledge is now at the heart of the fledgling Canadian sector.

Little more than 35 years old, the Canadian wine industry is relatively small – with only 80,000 tinnes of grapes crushed each year – but successful.  The country's signiature drop, icewine, is exported to 72 countries and there are plans to bring it to Australia.

Delegates from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists visited a number of wineries in the Niagara region of Ontario.

Iniskillen Wines head of public relations, Debi Pratt, said Australian knowledge has been integral to the sector's success.  “We have had a number of winemakers come over here over the years and they know how to deal with the grapes in this area,” she said.  “Australia is at the head of the new world movement in wine and it's something we are trying to replicate.”

As part of the Lake Huron tour, delegates also visited an family run apple farm, a dairy enterprise and a beef feedlot.

Read Richard's story about dairy quotas here and his first comments direct from the congress in Canada below .........

As Australia's supermarket milk price wars continue, the Canadian dairy sector has been promoted as a model of stability.

Through supply management quotas, the once-volatile industry has rationalised and consistently returned good prices to producers.

The driving force behind stabilisation in the Canadian dairy market since the mid 1970s, supply management quotas aim to increase production discipline within the sector and limit imports to just five per cent of produce a year. And according to Dairy Farmers of Canada executive director, Richard Doyle, the use of quota has rationalised a volatile market and protected the sector from imports.

“Supply management is demand minus imports and it's a continuous quota on a daily basis,” Mr Doyle told more than 300 journalists at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists conference in Guelph, Canada.

“Stability is the issue, and it affects the whole food chain when that stability is there.”

Mr Doyle was speaking as part of the Canadian Agrculture 101, alongside Syngenta Canada president, Jay Bradshaw, and former International Federation of Agriculture president, Jack Wilkinson.

Delegates at the conference will visit dairy farms as part of a tour of Lake Huron, in Canada's south, before ending up at Niagara Falls on September 17.