Food Safety News writers, Cookson Beecher and James Andrews were at the Washington Press Association Awards luncheon today and scored big – taking home a total of five awards. Here’s what Cookson took home:

First place — Agriculture/Environment — “Calls for GMO Labels Keep Cropping Up”

First place — Business/Technology — “Breakthrough Offers Promise of Improved GMO Testing”

Second place — General News — “Nation’s Largest Raw Milk Dairy Sues FDA Over Interstate Ban “

Here’s what James received:

First place — Consumer Affairs — “Dogs Fall Ill As Owners, Vets and Lawmakers Blame Treats from China”

Second place — General Features — “The Petting Zoo Problem”

These were all in the daily newspaper category. For those who do not know Cookson, she spent the past 12 years working as an agricultural & environmental reporter for Capital Press, a four-state newspaper that covers agricultural and forestry issues in the Pacific Northwest. Before working at Capital Press, she was the editor of a small-town newspaper, the Courier Times, in Skagit County, Wash. She received her B.A. in political science from Hunter College in New York City, and before moving west, she worked for publishing companies in mid-town Manhattan. In the 1970s and 80s, she and her family lived in North Idaho, where they built a log home and lived a “pioneer life” without running water and electricity for almost ten years. She currently lives in rural Skagit County of Washington State. James Andrews is our Seattle-based reporter covering science, agriculture and foodborne illness outbreaks. He holds degrees in Environmental Journalism and English from Western Washington University and has previously worked as a science writer for the National Park Service. His work has been mentioned on ABC World News, the Huffington Post and Esquire’s Eat Like a Man blog. I am proud of Cookson and James and the whole Food Safety News team.