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Industry Awards

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Publishing, photography and journalism award successes for Guild members and publications.

2013

Gemma MackenziePPA New Talent Award

The New Business Features Journalist of the Year category of the PPA New Talent Awards 2013 was won by Guild member Gemma Mackenzie, who submitted three pieces of work based on her time on Farmers Weekly's livestock desk.

The articles included the opening spread of a campaign she ran for six weeks that aimed to reduce stillborn and early calf deaths, a piece on the profitablity of small dairy farms and a Feature Farms report.

The judges said: "Gemma’s deep understanding of the sector made her really stand out. She tackles real issues affecting the day-to-day practice of her readers, packs her work full of essential facts and data, and throws herself into every bit of the campaigns, resulting in a very strong connection with her readers. An excellent winner."

Gemma (pictured centre above) started with Farmers Weekly as a livestock reporter in May 2011 and moved up to the deputy business editor post in August 2012.

"I think my biggest achievement so far was the young stock campaign, which definitely contributed to PPA award success," she says. "I love working at Farmers Weekly; I enjoy interviewing people, chasing good news stories and trying to provide good practical advice to our readers.

"But at the same time I have a passion for farming, having grown up on a dairy farm on the Isle of Lewis," Gemma adds. "Becoming an agricultural journalist seemed like the perfect way to merge those two passions and so far I'd say it was the right choice to make!"

 

2012

PPA Editor of the Year

PPA - Emma PennyEmma Penny, editor of Farmers Guardian, won the PPA Editor of the Year award for business media. She is pictured with Mark Henshaw of sponsor Grant Thornton (left) and awards presenter Miles Jupp.

Judges at the publishing industry’s ‘Oscars’ said Emma’s “deep understanding [of farming] shines through on every page”. They also said she “is deeply engrained within her target industry, and has shown enormous creativity over the past year, which has attracted new, younger readers”.

Emma received the award at a ceremony in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. Jane King, editor of Farmers Weekly and Max Gosney, editor of Works Management, were highly commended in the category.

2011

British Society of Magazine Editors

BSME 2011Emma Penny, editor of Farmers Guardian, won the coveted Editor of the Year award for business and professional magazines. Judges described the publication as: “excellent for its complex understanding and passion for its reader, ability to speak to a broad audience whilst also recruiting new, younger readers, and for its news agenda that had a life-improving benefit to the reader”.

“It is a huge accolade - and it’s all down to the talent, skill, determination and enthusiasm of the Farmers Guardian team," says Emma. "We’ve done some fantastic things and I’m lucky to work with such a brilliant and dedicated team of people.”

2010

PPA Weekly Business Magazine of the Year

PPA awardThe Periodical Publishers Association named Farmers Weekly the Weekly Business Magazine of the Year. The award, sponsored by magazine circulation agency ABC, was made in recognition of the publication’s success against the background of a decline in magazine publishing.

Pictured celebrating the win are Guild members Debbie Beaton (far left), Jane King (with trophy) and Julian Gairdner, with Louise Murrell of the production team.

Editor Jane King declared: “Winning this award for the second time in four years is an outstanding achievement and testament to the skills, determination and dedication of our talented team.

Farmers Weekly continues to go from strength to strength across print and on line, and we are proud to serve the farming industry with the UK’s officially recognised best business weekly.”

Online editor Julian Gairdner said the judges particularly noted how fundamental the web is to the future of the Farmers Weekly brand.

“We’re delighted that our ongoing enthusiasm for bringing new experiences and services through FWi to our loyal audience to complement the magazine has been recognised in this way,” he said.

2009

Royal Agricultural Societies award

Dei TomosFreelance broadcaster and journalist, Guild member Dei Tomos, was made an associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of agriculture through the media.

Dei is best known in Wales for his early morning news bulletin, which has been running since 1984 on BBC Radio Cymru and is still broadcast five days a week for 52 weeks of the year.

“I am very happy to receive this honour,” said Dei. “It’s in recognition of what I have tried to do, that is to keep farmers and others abreast of the latest news relevant to Welsh speaking farmers, land managers and others that take interest in agriculture and rural affairs.”

Dei, who lives at Nantperis near Caernarfon in the north-west Wales county of Gwynedd, has also presented a number of different agricultural and countryside programmes and was for many years the main presenter of programmes from the Royal Welsh Show. He also produces and presents Byd Amaeth, a 30-minute Farming Week type Saturday programme with either a round up and discussion of the weekly developments or a farm visit.

PPA Business Website of the Year

PPA 2009Farmers Weekly interactive (FWi) added to its tally of awards by picking up the title of Business Website of the Year in the 2009 Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) Awards.

More than 900 people from across the magazine publishing industry witnessed the presentation of the awards, which recognise editorial excellence. The FWi award was collected by online editor and Guild member Julian Gairdner, pictured second from left above.

The award recognises excellence in the online development or extension of a business media brand, and the judges were looking for success in leveraging the brand within its specific marketplace. Relevant factors included interactive functionality, the development and engagement of online communities, commercial performance, design, content, innovation and integration with other media channels.

Helping the judges to come to their decision was the fact that FWi achieved significant growth during 2008, with revenue up by 40%, page views up by 68% and the number of unique users up by 57%. The website’s FWi Space social networking pages were critical in this growth, with forum traffic 70% higher year-on-year and image gallery traffic 620% higher.

“FWi has taken a number of steps to address the specific needs of the community, using all the tools currently available to enhance the reader experience, including an appropriate use of social media,” the judges said. “Revenue and traffic growth are particularly impressive.”

Collecting the PPA award on behalf of FWi was Farmers Weekly group online editor, and Guild member, Julian Gairdner, who accepted the trophy from James Caan, the recently appointed chairman of award sponsor Fresh Egg, a West Sussex-based new media business.

AOP Digital Editorial Individual

Having scooped the best Online Community title in 2008 (see below), the Farmers Weekly website team won more accolades in the 2009 awards organised by the Association of Online Publishers.

Guild member Julian Gairdner was singled out as winner of the Digital Editorial Individual award, a new title introduced in 2009 sponsored by MSN.

Julian, FWi’s group online editor, led a significant organisational change within the Farmers Weekly Group, resulting in fully integrated editorial, production and sales functions across web and print. He also spearheaded a research and redesign process for the website, which is paying dividends in terms of increased traffic and more diversified commercial results.

The judges commented: “Clearly a natural digital editor, Julian displays a strong understanding of his target market, producing innovative editorial devices outside the traditional core pillars of web journalism. He has demonstrated a highly skilled approach to both strategy and execution.”

AOP Business Editorial Team

The Farmers Weekly team as a whole won the Business Editorial Team title, sponsored by Brand Republic.

The AOP described the team as “fully integrated, with true ‘muddy boots’ credentials, working across all media to deliver content for print, web and face-to-face activity”.

According to the award judges, the editorial team, which includes several Guild members, has “demonstrated a great knowledge of their market and passion for their subject and audience, with whom they showed deep engagement in the past year.”

A creative approach and use of social media have expanded readership beyond the core audience, while imaginative changes to working practices have lifted efficiency and given greater flexibility and immediacy online, notes the AOP citation. Respecting existing journalism skills while learning and developing new ones have both been key elements of the team’s success.

NFUS Communicator Award

Ken Rundle, the former broadcaster – and head of communications at Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) at the time he received the award –received the NFU Scotland Communicator of the Year award.

Ken spent 20 years with BBC Scotland, where he started as producer of the daily Scottish Farming news radio programme before becoming rural affairs correspondent and presenter of Landward, the weekly television programme.

Fellow Guild member James Withers, NFU Scotland chief executive, presented the award at the organisation’s 2009 annual meeting.

“Throughout his career, Ken Rundle has played a hugely important role in articulating often complex and technical agricultural issues in a way that the general public could understand,” he said. “During his time as a contributor to radio and front man of Landward, Ken worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that farming stories were not forgotten, at the same time ensuring that even the difficult stories were covered with fairness and integrity.”

Bob Carruth, NFU Scotland communications director, emphasised the important role of journalists and others in telling the ‘farming story’.

“For nearly 100 years, NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual have been supporting the Scottish farming industry in securing a profitable future,” he said. “In order to do this, we need the public’s support and to achieve that we need individuals who are willing to dedicate their time to conveying and articulating the industry’s message.”

 

2008

PRCA PR Campaign

Guild member Peter Crowe, director of Ceres PR, celebrated the agency’s success in the awards promoted by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).

Ceres beat two other finalist agencies to win the category for a PR campaign for a non-profit organisation with its work on the Open Farm Sunday project organised by LEAF (Linking Environment & Farming).

The judges for the award highlighted the extensive ‘on-message’ national and regional media coverage achieved by the campaign, noting how successful campaigns like Open Farm Sunday can raise awareness of organisations such as LEAF.

Farmers Club Cup

Honorary Guild member and former president, Hazel Byford, received a special award at the Farmers Club’s annual lunch in the House of Lords.

The Farmers Club Cup is awarded to an individual or organisation for services to agriculture. Baroness Byford received the award in recognition of her Parliamentary and other work in the industry; until recently, she was Shadow Minister in the Lords for Food, Farming and Rural Affairs.

A poultry farmer by background, Hazel Byford has had a distinguished career in both agriculture and politics, earning her a Life Peerage in 1996. As well as being a Liveryman with the Worshipful Company of Farmers and an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies, Hazel is patron of several leading rural organisations. She was Guild president from 2004 to 2007.

AOP Online Community Award

The online team at Farmers Weekly were among the winners at the Online Publishing Awards, presented by the UK Association of Online Publishers.

Group online editor Julian Gairdner and FW editor Jane King (far left and near right), together with Trevor Parker (publisher) and Isabel Davies, community editor, received the Online Community award for the Farmers Weekly Interactive (FWi) website.

According to the judges: "FWi demonstrated there can be a light-hearted approach to a business-to-business website, providing social interaction and community tools relevant to its members and pushing the business media boundaries with features such as the ‘muddy matches’ dating service.”

RABDF Princess Royal Award 

Guild member Tim Brigstocke was presented with the Princess Royal Award by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) for outstanding services to the dairy industry.

Tim, who manages a livestock consultancy specialising in advising government, the supply sector and farmers, has spent his 30-year career dedicated to the livestock industry.

"I have a genuine interest in ensuring a sustainable and profitable farming sector," Tim explains. "I believe my role as an individual has been to interpret and communicate a wide range of industry information, from R&D findings through to policy documents, and offer general common sense on the way forward."

Highlights of his career to date include managing the unification of the Holstein Friesian Society and the British Holstein Society to form Holstein UK and Ireland; restructuring the organisation and introducing a telephone registration system linked direct to the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).

As RABDF chairman, Tim established an agreed template for dairy farm costings involving all the major consultancy organisations; as a result, the RABDF was able to properly quantify for the first time the true costs of family labour.

At the Institute of Grassland & Environment Research (IGER) and BOCM Silcock/BOCM Pauls, he implemented practical and sensible technology transfer which is now fully accepted by farmers as good practice.

Tim was awarded an MBE in the 2007 New Years Honours list.

 

2007

FUW Journalist of the Year

Steve Dubé, farming editor of the Western Mail was awarded the Agricultural Journalist of the Year accolade for 2007 by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

He received an inscribed shepherd’s crook from FUW president Gareth Vaughan at the Royal Welsh Show.

"Steve, who produces the newspaper’s weekly Country & Farming supplement, is well known throughout the agricultural community, especially in West Wales, for his thorough reporting style," said Mr Vaughan. "I’m very pleased to be able to present him with this award.

“His contribution to the promotion of Welsh farming issues is well known and the hard work put in by Steve and all his colleagues in the farming media is regarded by the FUW as one of its most useful assets in spreading the message of all that’s good about Welsh agriculture and, of course, its trials and tribulations."

Steve started with the Western Mail in 1989 as a reporter in Carmarthen, where “he represented the paper brilliantly for more than a decade”, says Western Mail editor Alan Edmunds.

“He was appointed farming editor in June 2003 and has embraced the role magnificently, becoming a fine ambassador for the Western Mail in the world of farming, which is at the heart of the newspaper and its history,” Mr Edmunds added. “He always tries to speak up for Welsh farmers and I know they always tell him what they think of the paper - even when we get things wrong!

"Steve cares passionately about the issues he covers and I am delighted that he has been recognised in this way."

SDNS Lifetime Achievement Award

Shortly after his retirement from The Scotsman, Fordyce Maxwell was honoured with the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society’s Lifetime Achievement award.

At the presentation, Charles Wilson, chairman of the judging panel, described him as The Scotsman’s revered and celebrated farming correspondent but pointed out that in his long career he managed to also write a column for the Herald for 12 years, start the Tom Duncan rural column in the Sunday Post, appear regularly on TV and radio programmes, write a number of books, and contribute to a range of farming magazines!

He broke ranks from a long line of tenant farming ancestors to work on Farming News in Perth before moving to The Scotsman as deputy agricultural editor in 1969. Within a year or so, he became agricultural editor and began broadcasting his tongue-in-cheek rural comment slot 'Maxwell on Monday' for Radio Scotland.

A 12-year stint back on the farm was ended by a return to The Scotsman in 1989, whereupon he tackled many different tasks.

A senior colleague is reported to have said: "There is nothing on this paper he has not done and done outstandingly well. One of his greatest contributions was the humour he brought to the pages of The Scotsman. Fordyce entertained and amused the readers and made his column a reason to buy the paper."

Fordyce was awarded the MBE in 1995 for services to journalism; he has been made a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies; and in 2002 he won the Guild’s Netherthorpe Award for sustained excellence in agricultural communication.

RWS Life Governor 

Guild member Barry Alston, Farmers Guardian’s Wales correspondent, has been made an Honorary Life Governor of the Royal Welsh Show for “his outstanding support of the show during his career”. The award, presented at the 2007 event by Edward and Eireen Perkins, representing the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, was made two years after Barry received a Fellowship from the Royal Agricultural Societies, the organisation that represents the four ‘Royal’ agricultural societies in the UK. Photo: Adrian Legge.

RASE Outstanding Communicator

The Countess of Wessex presented Guild member and Essex farmer Guy Smith with the Outstanding Communicator award from the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE). This is made to an individual judged to have made an outstanding contribution towards the advancement of public understanding and awareness of rural land use and agricultural practice in Great Britain.

In 2006, Guy received the Guild’s similar accolade, the Netherthorpe Award, largely for his efforts to promote simple facts and figures about British agriculture through the Food, Farm & Countryside project – full details are on the project’s website.

 

2006

PPA Scotland - Business & Professional Magazine

The Scottish Farmer scored a hat-trick in the PPA Scotland 2006 awards by taking the best Business & Professional Magazine title for the third year in succession. Scottish Field took the editor and consumer magazine of the year titles, as well as the overall Magazine of the Year 2006 accolade.

PPA Business Magazine

The Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) named Farmers Weekly as its Business Magazine of the Year in 2006. The independent judges said Farmers Weekly had been “transformed in 2005 into an energetic market leader with a big future” and were impressed by the “radical overhaul of not just the design of the magazine but the entire thinking behind its approach to the market”. Editor Jane King commented: “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and this award shows that our efforts have also been noticed way beyond agriculture.”

Milk Development Council Special Award

Guild member and milk technology expert Dr David Armstrong received the Milk Development Council’s special award for “an outstanding contribution to dairy development”, which results from nominations drawn from across the farming, processing, media and retail industries. Ulsterman David Armstrong was involved in the inception of the Milk Marketing Board (MMB) for Northern Ireland, became head of marketing for the MMB for England and Wales, then director of creameries, a role in which he was instrumental in helping to shape the dairy industry as we know it today. He completed his career with the MMB as director of European operations in Brussels but continued his involvement with the industry with wide-ranging interest and responsibilities within the Society of Dairy Technology.

 

2005

 

FUW Agricultural Journalist of the Year

Guild member Hywel James, broadcaster and presenter of the ITV Wales farming programme Grass Roots was named ‘Agricultural Journalist of the Year’ in 2005 by the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW). According to FUW president Gareth Vaughan: “Hywel is well known in the agricultural community for his wealth of experience and popular reporting style; his contribution to the promotion of Welsh farm produce has been immense.” Hywel has been involved with television programmes on agriculture and the countryside since joining what was then HTV Wales in the early 1980s.

 

 

Newspaper Awards - Niche Market

Farmers Guardian, edited by Liz Falkingham, (above) was named Niche Market Newspaper of the Year at the 2005 Newspaper Awards, beating Angling Times, Motorcycle News and Antiques Trade Gazette to the accolade. The judges said they liked the design, the clean crisp printing and the consistent quality throughout. Farmers Guardian also won the Weekly Publication of the Year title at the in-house awards of publisher CMP Information.

 

Royal Agricultural Societies Fellowship

Farmers Guardian’s Wales-based regional correspondent Barry Alston was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural Societies in recognition of his “outstanding personal achievements and meritorious service to the agricultural industry”. The RAS represents the four royal agricultural societies of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

 

 

2004

 

RWAS Centenary Essay

Guild member Gaina Morgan won the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Centenary Essay competition. The freelance IFBN editor and the Country Land & Business Association’s media and PR advisor in Wales, was presented with her £1000 prize by HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, at the Royal Welsh Show. Gaina donated the prize to Farm Africa to help the organisation’s work assisting some of the world’s poorest farmers.

RNAS 'Young Achiever'

The Press & Journal business and agriculture editor Joe Watson (above) was recognised for his efforts for Scotland's agricultural industry as the inaugural recipient of an award “for achievements by a person under 35” from Grampian Country Food Group and Royal Northern Agricultural Society. Joe has been agriculture editor of the paper since 1996 and took on ‘business’ in 2000.

 

 

PPA Scotland Magazine of the Year

The Periodical Publishers Association Scotland, which runs the Scottish Magazine Awards, awarded two top prizes to The Scottish Farmer – Magazine of the Year 2004 and Business & Professional Magazine of the Year. The Scots weekly, edited by Alasdair Fletcher, earned further recognition when chief reporter, Douglas MacSkimming was named runner-up for the Writer of the Year title in the Business & Professional category.

 

Winners

2013

AOP Digital Awards

Farmers Weekly won two categories of the Association of Online Publishers Digital Awards.

Debbie BeatonThe publication's online presence - FWi - took the prize for best Business to Business wabsite, while the Farmers Apprentice was judged the best cross-media project.

Farmers Weekly Group special projects editor Debbie Beaton, a Member of the Guild, collected the AOP Digital Awards trophies with other members of the FWG digital team.

The Farmers Apprentice provided a competitive platform for youngsters wanting to get into farming through Farmers Weekly and a web TV series broadcast via website FWi.

The 10 finalists took part in a farming ‘bootcamp’, being mentored and tested through a number of real-life farm tasks from weighing pigs and mastering the UK's most high-tech GPS tractor to developing a mobile app for farmers and presenting a formal business pitch.

PPA New Talent Awards

Gemma Mackenzie

The New Business Features Journalist of the Year category of the PPA New Talent Awards 2013 was won by Guild member Gemma Mackenzie, who submitted three pieces of work based on her time on Farmers Weekly's livestock desk.

The articles included the opening spread of a campaign she ran for six weeks that aimed to reduce stillborn and early calf deaths, a piece on the profitablity of small dairy farms and a Feature Farms report.

The judges said: "Gemma’s deep understanding of the sector made her really stand out. She tackles real issues affecting the day-to-day practice of her readers, packs her work full of essential facts and data, and throws herself into every bit of the campaigns, resulting in a very strong connection with her readers. An excellent winner."

Gemma (pictured left above) started with Farmers Weekly as a livestock reporter in May 2011 and moved up to the deputy business editor post in August 2012.

"I think my biggest achievement so far was the young stock campaign, which definitely contributed to PPA award success," she says. "I love working at Farmers Weekly; I enjoy interviewing people, chasing good news stories and trying to provide good practical advice to our readers.

"But at the same time I have a passion for farming, having grown up on a dairy farm on the Isle of Lewis," Gemma adds. "Becoming an agricultural journalist seemed like the perfect way to merge those two passions and so far I'd say it was the right choice to make!"

Online versions of the articles that led to Gemma's award can be read here:

Youngstock: Stop the loss calf deaths campaign
Feature Farm: No nonsense culling for optimal fertility
Business: Small dairy farm profitability

2012

PPA Editor of the Year 2012PPA Editor of the Year

Emma Penny, editor of Farmers Guardian, won the PPA Editor of the Year award for business media. She is pictured with Mark Henshaw of sponsor Grant Thornton (left) and awards presenter Miles Jupp.

Judges at the publishing industry’s ‘Oscars’ said Emma’s “deep understanding [of farming] shines through on every page”. They also said she “is deeply engrained within her target industry, and has shown enormous creativity over the past year, which has attracted new, younger readers”.

Emma received the award at a ceremony in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. Jane King, editor of Farmers Weekly and Max Gosney, editor of Works Management, were highly commended in the category.

PPA Scotland Online Presence

PPA Scotland Online - TheSFThe website published by The Scottish Farmer took the Online Presence trophy at the PPA Scotland awards.

The judges described the winner as "simply superb; with a traditional look and feel, this website belies the amazing range of content and services, acting perfectly as an interactive resource".

Pictured receiving the award are publisher Darren Bruce (left) and Shirley Derani, head of web design.

2011

British Society of Magazine Editors 2011British Society of Magazine Editors

The coveted Editor of the Year award for business and professional magazines was won by Farmers Guardian editor, Emma Penny. Judges described the publication as: “excellent for its complex understanding and passion for its reader, ability to speak to a broad audience whilst also recruiting new, younger readers, and for its news agenda that had a life-improving benefit to the reader”.

“It is a huge accolade - and it’s all down to the talent, skill, determination and enthusiasm of the Farmers Guardian team," says Emma. "We’ve done some fantastic things and I’m lucky to work with such a brilliant and dedicated team of people.”

2010

PPA Weekly Business Magazine 2010PPA Weekly Business Magazine of the Year

The Periodical Publishers Association named Farmers Weekly the Weekly Business Magazine of the Year. The award, sponsored by magazine circulation agency ABC, was made in recognition of the publication’s success against the background of a decline in magazine publishing.

Pictured celebrating the win are Guild members Debbie Beaton (far left), Jane King (with trophy) and Julian Gairdner, with Louise Murrell of the production team.

Editor Jane King declared: “Winning this award for the second time in four years is an outstanding achievement and testament to the skills, determination and dedication of our talented team.

Farmers Weekly continues to go from strength to strength across print and on line, and we are proud to serve the farming industry with the UK’s officially recognised best business weekly.”

Online editor Julian Gairdner said the judges particularly noted how fundamental the web is to the future of the Farmers Weekly brand.

“We’re delighted that our ongoing enthusiasm for bringing new experiences and services through FWi to our loyal audience to complement the magazine has been recognised in this way,” he said.

2009

Royal Agricultural Societies 2009Royal Agricultural Societies

Freelance broadcaster and journalist, Guild member Dei Tomos, was made an associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of agriculture through the media.

Dei is best known in Wales for his early morning news bulletin, which has been running since 1984 on BBC Radio Cymru and is still broadcast five days a week for 52 weeks of the year.

“I am very happy to receive this honour,” said Dei. “It’s in recognition of what I have tried to do, that is to keep farmers and others abreast of the latest news relevant to Welsh speaking farmers, land managers and others that take interest in agriculture and rural affairs.”

Dei, who lives at Nantperis near Caernarfon in the north-west Wales county of Gwynedd, has also presented a number of different agricultural and countryside programmes and was for many years the main presenter of programmes from the Royal Welsh Show. He also produces and presents Byd Amaeth, a 30-minute Farming Week type Saturday programme with either a round up and discussion of the weekly developments or a farm visit.

Julian GairdnerPPA Business Website

Farmers Weekly interactive (FWi) added to its tally of awards by picking up the title of Business Website of the Year in the 2009 Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) Awards.

More than 900 people from across the magazine publishing industry witnessed the presentation of the awards, which recognise editorial excellence. The FWi award was collected by online editor and Guild member Julian Gairdner, pictured second from left above.

The award recognises excellence in the online development or extension of a business media brand, and the judges were looking for success in leveraging the brand within its specific marketplace. Relevant factors included interactive functionality, the development and engagement of online communities, commercial performance, design, content, innovation and integration with other media channels.

Helping the judges to come to their decision was the fact that FWi achieved significant growth during 2008, with revenue up by 40%, page views up by 68% and the number of unique users up by 57%. The website’s FWi Space social networking pages were critical in this growth, with forum traffic 70% higher year-on-year and image gallery traffic 620% higher.

“FWi has taken a number of steps to address the specific needs of the community, using all the tools currently available to enhance the reader experience, including an appropriate use of social media,” the judges said. “Revenue and traffic growth are particularly impressive.”

Collecting the PPA award on behalf of FWi was Farmers Weekly group online editor, and Guild member, Julian Gairdner, who accepted the trophy from James Caan, the recently appointed chairman of award sponsor Fresh Egg, a West Sussex-based new media business.

AOP Digital Editorial Individual 2009AOP Digital Editorial Individual

Having scooped the best Online Community title in 2008 (see below), the Farmers Weekly website team won more accolades in the 2009 awards organised by the Association of Online Publishers.

Guild member Julian Gairdner was singled out as winner of the Digital Editorial Individual award, a new title introduced in 2009 sponsored by MSN.

Julian, FWi’s group online editor, led a significant organisational change within the Farmers Weekly Group, resulting in fully integrated editorial, production and sales functions across web and print. He also spearheaded a research and redesign process for the website, which is paying dividends in terms of increased traffic and more diversified commercial results.

The judges commented: “Clearly a natural digital editor, Julian displays a strong understanding of his target market, producing innovative editorial devices outside the traditional core pillars of web journalism. He has demonstrated a highly skilled approach to both strategy and execution.”

AOP Business Editorial TeamAOP Business Editorial Team

The Farmers Weekly team as a whole won the Business Editorial Team title, sponsored by Brand Republic.

The AOP described the team as “fully integrated, with true ‘muddy boots’ credentials, working across all media to deliver content for print, web and face-to-face activity”.

According to the award judges, the editorial team, which includes several Guild members, has “demonstrated a great knowledge of their market and passion for their subject and audience, with whom they showed deep engagement in the past year.”

A creative approach and use of social media have expanded readership beyond the core audience, while imaginative changes to working practices have lifted efficiency and given greater flexibility and immediacy online, notes the AOP citation. Respecting existing journalism skills while learning and developing new ones have both been key elements of the team’s success.

Ken RundleNFUS Communicator Award

Ken Rundle, the former broadcaster – and head of communications at Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) at the time he received the award –received the NFU Scotland Communicator of the Year award.

Ken spent 20 years with BBC Scotland, where he started as producer of the daily Scottish Farming news radio programme before becoming rural affairs correspondent and presenter of Landward, the weekly television programme.

Fellow Guild member James Withers, NFU Scotland chief executive, presented the award at the organisation’s 2009 annual meeting.

“Throughout his career, Ken Rundle has played a hugely important role in articulating often complex and technical agricultural issues in a way that the general public could understand,” he said. “During his time as a contributor to radio and front man of Landward, Ken worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that farming stories were not forgotten, at the same time ensuring that even the difficult stories were covered with fairness and integrity.”

Bob Carruth, NFU Scotland communications director, emphasised the important role of journalists and others in telling the ‘farming story’.

“For nearly 100 years, NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual have been supporting the Scottish farming industry in securing a profitable future,” he said. “In order to do this, we need the public’s support and to achieve that we need individuals who are willing to dedicate their time to conveying and articulating the industry’s message.”

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