Barry Wilson

News is easy to find. Relevant, honest and accurate news is less so. Luckily for the Canadian agricultural industry, we have Barry Wilson. Known as a valuable and trusted communications lifeline for producers and others in the agricultural community, Barry Wilson has been reporting agricultural news to Canadians through The Western Producer for more than 30 years. He is now the only full-time agriculture reporter employed by any media outlet on Parliament Hill.

Barry earned degrees in political science, journalism and an MA in Canadian studies, and his work has taken him through every Canadian province, and to many different international destinations. He has covered national and provincial agricultural policies, farm group dynamics, international trade and world food issues. His work has ensured that farmers and ranchers are provided with fair and honest reporting on issues and policies that will affect them, their agricultural operations and their families.

Barry has provided a uniquely Canadian perspective to the past three decades of international agricultural trade negotiations. He has initiated coverage on world hunger and food issues and the role Canadians can and do play in addressing them. He has covered famine in Africa, activities of food aid groups like the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and others, and has attended the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization meetings on several occasions.

While agriculture is not typically a major issue in federal elections, Barry has ensured politicians in the last 11 federal elections have been asked about agricultural and rural issues. Through the dedication to his craft, Barry Wilson has achieved a key goal for many journalists – driving accountability for politicians and policy makers. It is not an exaggeration to state that many potential policies have been improved, or “never saw the light of day,” simply because someone asked the question, “What happens if this ends up in Barry’s column?”

His political interests started early. At the age of 14, Barry began collecting political memorabilia including signatures from all 22 of Canada’s prime ministers. The Barry Wilson Collection was gifted to Carleton University in Ottawa in 2010. He also is the author of four books, two directly related to agriculture. Barry is a lay minister for the United Church in Low, Quebec, near his fifth-generation farm in the Gatineau Valley, where he grew up and that he still owns.

Barry has a great ability to be relevant, reporting and commenting on matters that count, while also stretching the envelope to include interesting issues far beyond the ordinary. He is also challenging. He pushes both his sources and his readers to consider and respond to “the other side” of any argument. This brings comprehensiveness, balance and a sense of fairness to his work.

Barry Wilson is a journalist to be admired. Known as “the leading official scribe for Canadian agriculture,” Barry tells our most important stories not only to ourselves, but also to the rest of the world.

Nominated By:
  • The Western Producer