Owen Roberts is a journalist and a columnist with daily, weekly and monthly print and online media. His stories and columns have appeared in the Toronto Star, Farms.com, The Grower magazine, Grain Farmer magazine, Milk Producer magazine, RealAgriculture.com, Guelph Today and FCC Express, as well as on his blog Urban Cowboy (www.urbancowboy.ca). He is active on social media, particularly through twitter as @theurbancowboy. 

In the media, Owen typically discusses urban perspectives on agri-food issues. He is president of the 5,000-member International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, which represents journalists in more than 50 countries. He is 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 celebrates its 30th year in 2019-20. 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, the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association 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. Among his awards are a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (2018), a gold award for media and publishing from the Ontario Hostelry Institute (2017), an honourary life membership from the Ontario Institute of Agrologists (2005) an Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Award from the Province of Ontario (2004).