The Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation hosted its annual conference last week, with the theme “Fixing CFWF Redbarn signFences — Bridging the Urban/Rural Divide.” Rob Saik, CEO of Agri-Trend, was one of the panelists in the “Found at the Farm Gate”  Friday afternoon session, and he suggested that one of the first steps to bridging the divide would be to stop using the “little red barn” to represent agriculture.

Saik specifically cited the conference’s logo as an example, which featured a red barn and yellow silo in font of a blue cityscape.

Proponents have since argued that the barn is a symbol of agriculture in a modern era, like the book is a symbol of education in a digital age — timeless. Saik doesn’t see it that way.

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“I’m tired of the little red barn,” Saik told RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney. “The fact of the matter is the icon of the little red barn or the little red tractor no longer exists. It doesn’t represent agriculture as we know it today and I think it’s time to stop using those outdated icons when we’re trying to communicate to city people.”

RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney asks Rob Saik, CEO of Agri-Trend, about his contribution to the Canadian Farm Writers Federation’s (CFWF) conference theme: “Bridging the Urban/Rural Divide.” Shaun asks why the “little red barn’” icon matters, why we’re hesitant to give it up, and what the icon should be instead.


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