FROM THE EDITOR: January 2006
It’s the start of another new year and as usual, I am trying to recover ...
By Kristy Nudds
It’s the start of another new year and as usual, I am trying to recover from my overindulgence in the holiday goodies.
It’s the start of another new year and as usual, I am trying to recover from my overindulgence in the holiday goodies. Like many people, I have been guilted by a silly tradition into feeling that I must break my bad habits and devise ‘resolutions’ that must be adhered to in order to better myself – if only for a few weeks.
Why is it that January is considered a great time to start something new? The days are short, the temperature is often below freezing, and the land is covered in snow. When I think ‘new,’ I think of Spring, when everything in nature is reborn, and the cycle begins once again. Perhaps the ancient Greeks and Romans made some terrible blunder and it’s too much bother now to make amends. But then January is actually warm in the Mediterranean, isn’t it?
This year, my usual cynicism towards New Year’s traditions and having to layer up before I leave the house has been significantly softened. No, I still don’t like scraping ice off of my car or feeling the effects of eating too many Christmas cookies. The difference is now it truly is a ‘new’ year, as I have taken an exciting turn in my career.
The path to becoming editor of Canadian Poultry has been an interesting journey. When I first started as an animal science student in university, I had the same naïve ideal that many young women from non-farming backgrounds have – well, I like animals and I want to be a veterinarian. Yes, I fell victim to cliché but it’s true. Trouble is, many students like me truly didn’t understand the scope of practice that animal science (and agriculture) has to offer.
Instead of agonizing over my marks and worrying about acceptance into veterinary school, I relished the content of the courses and opened my eyes to other possibilities. I count myself as one of the lucky ones who embraced the industry and realized how diversified it could be, and that my enthusiasm and scientific curiosity could truly be put to better use.
Toward the end of my undergraduate studies in Animal Biology, I became part of a student writing program that taught students with no journalism background how to write for media, and more importantly how to communicate about science and agriculture to both producers and consumers. Although I enjoyed this immensely, I had trouble shaking the negative image of journalism I had in my head of pushy news people shoving microphones into a politician’s or victim’s face, only to sensationalize the story and miss the real point. No thanks.
But realizing that these skills, combined with education, could provide a valuable service to producers and industry changed my mind (and I must admit, a little nudging from my graduate advisors certainly helped). I still don’t consider myself a journalist, but rather a communicator. What purpose is served if the results of research and technological advancements circulate only within universities or research labs? What purpose is served if the people who can actually put the results into practice – producers and industry representatives – don’t know about them because they are buried somewhere in an academic journal and hidden in dusty university library stacks?
I look upon my new position as both an honour and a privilege. I look forward to providing you with relevant information in order for you to run your operation more successfully, and expose you to new advancements as they happen. No matter what this new year brings, let’s ride the wave together.
I haven’t been with this publication long, and consequently I have not had the opportunity to meet many of you yet. I hope over the next coming months to meet many of you at various functions across the country. Please feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call, I would love to talk to you. It’s my goal to ensure that this magazine serves your needs effectively. I’m interested in hearing about what you like, what you don’t like, and any new story ideas or topics that you would like to read about. Don’t be shy!
Best wishes for you and your family in 2006.