By Lynn Redl-Huntington
One of the driving forces behind Sask Pork’s consumer promotions is being recognized for her exceptional efforts in agriculture.
Dorothy Long, along with Bill Huber, Kevin Hursh, John McKinnon, and Laurie Tollefson, are all being formally inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame tomorrow. Long is a lifelong champion of Canadian food and farming, having worked for nearly 30 years to promote Canadian-grown foods and the industry that produces them.
“I grew up on a farm and am inspired by my parents, family and community. I watched how they care for each other, the land, and took such pride in growing food. I witnessed good people working hard to feed others. It is hard not to be motivated by them,” said Dorothy Long, who began her career as a home economist.
“The 2023 inductees highlight the depth and commitment people have in improving and promoting Saskatchewan agriculture,” said Reed Andrew, president of the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Long is currently Director of Communications at Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan where she spearheads the Canadian Food Focus project, a consumer-friendly website that helps build consumers’ understanding and trust by sharing stories, recipes, and information about Canadian food and farms. It recently won a Canadian Agri-food Marketers Alliance Award for Best Website Directed at the Public.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized by an industry I am so passionate about. It has also allowed me to take some time to reflect and think about my career and what I want to do next,” said Long. “Agriculture is always evolving and trying to make itself better. I know that farmers will continue to innovate in a sustainable way to feed the world.”
Long began working with Sask Pork in 2015 by helping to launch the organization’s first social media platforms. Over the years, she has continued to help build Sask Pork’s website and recipe development through Pick Pork Saskatchewan.
“We are thrilled to see Dorothy recognized for her tireless efforts to help tell the story of agriculture,” said Mark Ferguson, General Manager at Sask Pork. “We appreciate her dedication to helping promote the pork industry in Saskatchewan and beyond. I would also like to congratulate 2023 inductees, Bill, Kevin, John, and Laurie on their achievements.”
“Being able to do something I am passionate about and feeling like what I do makes a difference is such a highlight. Also, all the wonderful friendships I have made along the way. Julia Child said ‘People who love to eat are always the best people.’ She was right,” offered Long.
“I love barbequed ribs, any kind of pork chops and, of course, bacon. One of my go-to-meals when we are entertaining is pork tenderloin. I also really like grilling pork – maybe because my husband does the grilling,” joked Long.
Long has developed and collaborated on similar marketing strategies for other commodity groups as well, including Spread the Mustard, CanolaInfo, HealthyFlax, as well as Cuisine Canada, and Growing Saskatchewan.
“Only 3 percent of Canadians are involved in food production that means 97 percent don’t have a direct knowledge of how their food is grown, raised or produced. That leaves a lot of room for misinformation and misunderstanding,” explained Long. “The first step in communicating about food and farming is to look for ways and tools to connect to consumers where they are at. Further to do that through finding common ground or shared values and then do it authentically and honestly.”
When I first started doing this work, I had a hard time convincing farmers that recipes, for example, were an important tool for connecting with consumers. Food is the most intimate way that people come to agriculture and a recipe not only tells people how to use an ingredient but also tells a story, connect us to each other and opens the door to other conversations. People live busy lives and they need to feed themselves so recipes work,” added Long.
As for what’s next for Long, she’s quick to point out that her work is far from over.
“I want to continue to inform and engage consumers about Canadian food and farming,” said Long. “I love working with farmers and farm organizations to tell their stories and to promote and communicate about the food they grow and raise.”Source : Saskpork