Kate Ayers received an AgPrize for her work communicating ag issues to consumers
By Jackie Clark
An agricultural journalist won a Huron County AgPrize 2020 in the communicating with customers category for her work on The Renude Food Project.
Kate Ayers, writer and elite track and field athlete, received the award from the County of Huron Economic Development Department. She also works as an agricultural journalist with Better Farming magazine and Farms.com.
When she heard about the award, she “was pleasantly surprised,” Ayers told Farms.com. “This website has been a passion project of mine for the better part of two years, so to be recognized for communication efforts I would have done anyways is pretty cool!”
The mission of The Renude Food Project is “to alleviate apprehension and answer questions about Canadian agriculture and food production,” she explained. Ayers “aims to empower consumers to make informed food purchasing decisions and to build trust in the agri-food sector by sharing expert-approved information.”
For consumers, reputable information about agriculture can be hard to find.
“Misinformation (is) a pretty big issue in the ag industry,” Ayers explained. Consumers “may have a hard time sorting between accurate details and complete misinformation. To ensure that I do not add to the cloud of confusion, sector experts review all features to confirm accuracy of content before I publish articles on the site.”
Ayers is passionate about sharing stories from the ag industry and wants “to help create dialogue between consumers and producers to help Canadians better understand how food travels from the farmgate to their dinner plates,” she added.
She named her blog The Renude Food Project because the “goal is to build trust in our food supply chain by ‘uncovering’ ag and food facts, busting myths, and ‘renewing’ Canadians’ relationship with food,” Ayers said.
She hopes to clearly communicate a few key messages to consumers.
First, “farming is a lifestyle,” she said. “The people who work in the industry are incredibly passionate about what they do. They are stewards of the land and take utmost care of their herds and flocks. Farmers work hard 24-7, 365 days a year to ensure Canadians have a consistent supply of fresh and high-quality food.”
Also “the ag industry is backed by scientifically-proven practices and protocols,” she explained. “Farmers and other ag industry stakeholders are constantly evolving and employing innovations to become more sustainable and resilient in the face of changing climatic, political and social demands. GMOs (genetically modified organisms), animal welfare assurances and crop protection products all have roles to play in providing food security.”
Consumers looking for information shouldn’t “believe everything they read on the Internet and shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions to those who are experts in their fields,” she added.
Finally, Ayers plans “to promote diversity and inclusion in the ag industry and create a central platform where consumers can obtain the food production information they are looking for. I also want to contribute to the development of a brand for Canadian agriculture and help build public trust,” she said.
Ayers also shares information about The Renude Food Project on Twitter and Facebook.