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Laura Rance, editorial director of Glacier Media’s Farm Business Communications team and editor of the Manitoba Co-operator, has won two major international awards for her work on African agriculture.

Rance won the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Star Prize for 'Africa's Hunger Games,' published in the Winnipeg Free Press in 2015. The same piece was awarded the IFAJ-FAO Award for Excellence in Global Food Security Reporting, a new award sponsored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the IFAJ.

The feature was based on a series of articles that ran earlier in the Manitoba Co-operator and Alberta Farmer Express. Rance wrote the series about her five-week project on secondment to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in Africa. It focused on conservation agriculture practices and their role in conserving soil in the region.

“This is an excellent piece of journalism; the first-person approach allows the author to weave human emotion into this comprehensive piece, filled with facts and expertise on both sides of the issue,” said award judges for the IFAJ Star Prize.

Erwin Northoff, FAO chief of media relations and one of the judges of the IFAJ-FAO Award, said: “Laura Rance’s article is a perfect example of presenting the complex scientific and social problems of soil management in poor countries to a broader audience.”

Rance was thrilled with the awards.

"Stories like this one need to be told and I am grateful for the recognition this one has received,” she said. “But it is important to also acknowledge the organizations that made doing this research possible and the people who so graciously shared glimpses of their lives.”