Twenty-four year old farmer’s daughter Melanie Jenkins from Monmouthshire was the 2015 winner, with the runner-up being agronomist Sam Deane, also 24, from Co Cork in Ireland.
Melanie gained a BA in English Literature from the University of Reading, where she introduced an agricultural column to the university newspaper. She completed two spells of work experience at Farmers Weekly in 2014 and in 2015 began working for the Devon-based agricultural media service, Agri-hub.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the course and met some really great people; it has been such a good experience to have so early in my career,” says Melanie. “I will certainly be recommending it to anyone who says they are interested in this field.”
Melanie won the award for her article ‘Dairy leaders to hold fresh talks with Morrisons’, which was published by Farmers Weekly. Sam Deane’s article ‘OSR emerges into a blitz of disease’ was written for his work experience host magazine CPM. Sam has since joined leading specialist arable merchant Premium Crops Ltd in Hampshire.
The 2015 entries were judged by specialist training consultant and main course lecturer David Mascord and freelance Louise Impey, the Guild’s Awards Secretary. Melanie received her winner’s cheque for £250, a framed certificate and the John Deere trophy at the Guild’s Harvest Lunch in London, where Sam was presented with his framed certificate and a cheque for £100.
This year's work experience hosts were Agri-hub, CPM, Farmers Guardian, Farmers Guide, Farmers Weekly, LEAF, pitchcare, Ware Anthony Rust and the Western Morning News. Other course participants included Guild members Laura Bowyer and Alice Singleton of Farmers Guardian, freelance Tracy Wathen-Jones, and Rosie Hopkins and Sophie Wilesmith of Pinstone Communications.
Click here to read the winning news stories.