When stories about menaces such as giant hogweed and the western bean cutworm show up in Section A of daily newspapers, it’s time to declare the media is becoming more interested and aware of farming.

I write about this emergence — and how farmers need to recognize it as an opportunity to tell stories to urban readers, listeners and viewers — in my Urban Cowboy column in today’s Guelph Mercury.

Hysteria runs deep about giant hogweed. One of my former students at the University of Guelph, Mike Cowbrough, is now the weed specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Mike’s always had a knack for being able to communicate clearly, and I was pleased SPARK students had the chance to work with him on a video about identifying giant hogweed. You can access the video from this page .

The photo below of giant hogweed leaves is from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters invading species website. Look familiar?