Cary Blake, associate editor of Western Farm Press, a Penton Media publication, has been honored for excellence in reporting on agricultural issues and for standing up to organizations that attempt to misrepresent modern-day farming.
The award was presented to Blake on Aug. 20, by the Pima County Farm Bureau during the organization’s annual meeting in Marana, Ariz.
Blake is based in the Phoenix area where he writes about Arizona and California production agriculture issues. He also contributes to Penton’s sister publication, Southwest Farm Press, and to westernfarmpress.com and southwestfarmpress.com, the Web sites for the franchises.
“I am humbled by the award and consider it a privilege to report on the hard-hitting agricultural issues which impact farmers and ranchers in the West and Southwest,” Blake said.
Dan Pacheco, Pima County Farm Bureau president, called Western Farm Press an “excellent source of information on the important issues facing today’s agriculture.”
Pacheco specifically credited Blake for his commentary, “Ranchers take envirofreaks to the woodshed,” available online at http://westernfarmpress.com/news/blake-column-ranchers-envirofreaks-woodshed-0406/index.html.
The commentary examined how the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a Tucson, Ariz.-based environmental group, publicly accused an Arizona ranching family of destroying the environment on a local grazing allotment. The ranchers hired independent consultants to develop an evaluation of the family’s ranching practices. Armed with the results, the beef-cattle producers filed a libel and defamation lawsuit against the CBD to prove their innocence and to hold the CBD accountable for the wrongful accusations.
In a jury trial, jurors overwhelmingly sided with the ranchers. The judge ordered the CBD to pay a $600,000 damage settlement to the ranchers.
Pacheco said of Blake, “You and your magazine have done a terrific job of correcting the misrepresentations of those involved in agriculture.”
Blake is in his fifth year with Farm Press.