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Owen Roberts

Owen Roberts

Owen Roberts is a journalist and a columnist with daily, weekly and monthly print and online media. His stories and columns appear in RealAgriculture.com, Guelph Today, FCC Express, Orangeville Banner, Woolwich Observer, The Grower, Ontario Pork Retailer News, Country Routes/Erin Advocate, as well as on his blog Urban Cowboy (www.urbancowboy.ca). He is active on social media, particularly through twitter as @theurbancowboy. He is also a freelance travel writer for the Toronto Star.

In the media, Owen typically discusses urban perspectives on agri-food issues. He is vice-president of the 5,000-member International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, which represents journalists in 40 countries, and a senator in the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation.

Owen is an adjunct professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences and the research communications director at the University of Guelph. As well, he serves as editor of the University’s Research magazine. Owen created the popular student-research writing program Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge (SPARK), which celebrated its 25th year in 2014-15. Many of his former students are active in journalism, communications and marketing in Ontario and elsewhere. His programs and research papers have been recognized nationally and internationally through awards from the Journal of Applied Communications, the Association for Communications Excellence and others.

Owen holds a Bachelor of Arts (communications) from the University of Windsor, a Master of Science (rural extension studies) from the University of Guelph, and a Doctor of Education (agricultural education and communications) from Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University. In 2005 he was awarded an honourary life membership by the Ontario Institute of Agrologists.

Recent Work by Owen

Never too late to give pollinators a hand

Never too late to give pollinators a hand

In this edition Urban Cowboy, Owen Roberts talks to an expert about why now’s a good time to start a pollinator garden
Senator Black bids farewell to institute he helped create

Senator Black bids farewell to institute he helped create

In this edition of Urban Cowboy, Owen Roberts covers the senator’s outgoing Rural Ontario Institute meeting
Beers for Bracelets a tasty way to support a good cause

Beers for Bracelets a tasty way to support a good cause

In this edition of his Urban Cowboy column, Owen Roberts says drink responsibly and drink up for a good cause this Saturday at the Speedvale LCBO
Today agriculture is a little greener <b>(2 photos)</b>

Today agriculture is a little greener (2 photos)

In this edition of Urban Cowboy, Owen Roberts discusses now Mike Schreiner’s victory brings a new dynamic to Guelph’s leadership position in agriculture and food
These pedal pushers give knowledge mobilization new wheels

These pedal pushers give knowledge mobilization new wheels

In this week’s Urban Cowboy, Owen Roberts finds a group of University of Guelph employees making Bike Month a year-round professional affair
“Invisible” women who farm struggling with identity

“Invisible” women who farm struggling with identity

In this edition of his Urban Cowboy column, Owen Roberts explains how research is attempting to fill the knowledge gap about women farmers
Research excellence spans the breadth of Guelph’s campus <b>(8 photos)</b>

Research excellence spans the breadth of Guelph’s campus (8 photos)

In this edition of his Urban Cowboy column, Owen Roberts looks at some of the leading University of Guelph researchers who are improving life for us all
Report calls for more responsible labelling to avoid 'fish fraud'

Report calls for more responsible labelling to avoid 'fish fraud'

In this edition of Urban Cowboy, Owen Roberts writes how DNA-based species identification technology developed at the University of Guelph addresses challenges raised by FAO
Avoid the 'Trojan horse' of stress on your heart <b>(2 photos)</b>

Avoid the 'Trojan horse' of stress on your heart (2 photos)

In this edition of Urban Cowboy, Owen Roberts writes about a researcher who urges students and others undergoing excessive stress to take breaks
Famous chef turns heads with visit to city, university <b>(3 photos)</b>

Famous chef turns heads with visit to city, university (3 photos)

Celebrity chef Michael Smith visited Valeriote’s Market, Creelman Hall, and McLaughlin Library