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Owen Roberts

Owen Roberts

Owen Roberts is a journalist and a columnist with daily, weekly and monthly print and online media. His stories and columns appear in RealAgriculture.com, Guelph Today, FCC Express, Orangeville Banner, Woolwich Observer, The Grower, Ontario Pork Retailer News, Country Routes/Erin Advocate, as well as on his blog Urban Cowboy (www.urbancowboy.ca). He is active on social media, particularly through twitter as @theurbancowboy. He is also a freelance travel writer for the Toronto Star.

In the media, Owen typically discusses urban perspectives on agri-food issues. He is vice-president of the 5,000-member International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, which represents journalists in 40 countries, and a senator in the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation.

Owen is an adjunct professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences and the research communications director at the University of Guelph. As well, he serves as editor of the University’s Research magazine. Owen created the popular student-research writing program Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge (SPARK), which celebrated its 25th year in 2014-15. Many of his former students are active in journalism, communications and marketing in Ontario and elsewhere. His programs and research papers have been recognized nationally and internationally through awards from the Journal of Applied Communications, the Association for Communications Excellence and others.

Owen holds a Bachelor of Arts (communications) from the University of Windsor, a Master of Science (rural extension studies) from the University of Guelph, and a Doctor of Education (agricultural education and communications) from Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University. In 2005 he was awarded an honourary life membership by the Ontario Institute of Agrologists.

Recent Work by Owen

Dangers lurk whenever grain is moved – and it’s moved everyday <b>(2 photos)</b>

Dangers lurk whenever grain is moved – and it’s moved everyday (2 photos)

The farm sector supports producer safety during good times and bad, writes Owen Roberts
Saluting the world’s biggest employer, family farming

Saluting the world’s biggest employer, family farming

In this edition of Urban Cowboy, Owen Roberts explains why the United Nations’ Decade of Family Farming impacts everyone
Toonies, trout and technology <b>(4 photos)</b>

Toonies, trout and technology (4 photos)

In this edition of Urban Cowboy, Owen Roberts reports on U of G biodiversity students fundraising to help carry out brook trout research at Hanlon Creek
Thinking outside the box with vegan doughnuts <b>(4 photos)</b>

Thinking outside the box with vegan doughnuts (4 photos)

Cas Knihnisky, owner of Merit Badge Doughnuts, has updated a family favourite for a plant-based recipe for success
Spilling the beans on local production <b>(6 photos)</b>

Spilling the beans on local production (6 photos)

Entrepreneur Ben Cullen fills a niche with compostable packaging and a transparent value chain, writes Owen Roberts in this edition of Urban Cowboy
Fergus producer leads charge for Ontario beef industry <b>(3 photos)</b>

Fergus producer leads charge for Ontario beef industry (3 photos)

In this edition of Urban Cowboy, Joe Hill is determined to make sure beef producers’ voices are heard
As land gets scarce, farmers turn further to new technology

As land gets scarce, farmers turn further to new technology

To sustain their businesses, farmers work to conserve the land on which they grow crops and raise livestock, writes Owen Roberts in his latest Urban Cowboy column
Time to put joy back in food

Time to put joy back in food

In this edition of his Urban Cowboy column, Owen Roberts pushes back at guilt about eating and marketing good food
Home alone in rural Ontario

Home alone in rural Ontario

In this edition of his Urban Cowboy column, Owen Roberts finds some alarming figures about rural Ontario housing for seniors
High hopes for Canada’s legal cannabis, despite shortages

High hopes for Canada’s legal cannabis, despite shortages

In this edition of his Urban Cowboy column, Owen Roberts talks to an expert who predicts more cannabis licenses are coming