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KEENAN Alltech Farming Innovation Award

Jamie Day
01727 836924
Jamie Day

£2000 prize fund for the winner and runner-up for the best articles or broadcasts published between the 12 months from July 1 to June 30 on innovative thinking or practices in agriculture.

Entry Deadline: 2018 entries not yet open

Details of how to enter are here.

Keenan's vision is to become the leader in ethical and profitable farming solutions, aiming to drive on-farm productivity and results through maximising feed efficiency. The company has internationally acclaimed scientists, agricultural economists, nutritionists and engineers working together to deliver high performance feeder wagons and management advice in all aspects of nutrition and ruminant feeding economics.



The 2017  Alltech Keenan Innovation Award was won by freelance Andrew Blake for his Tillage magazine article called Tackling tramline ‘river’ losses.

Andrew is pictured above right receiving his award from Keenan Alltech chief executive Robbie Walker at the Guild's 2017 Harvest Lunch.

Judges described the article as a comprehensive piece on how innovation can help solve the problem of water and pesticide run-off from tramlines ending up in watercourses.

They said it was well-researched and written with obvious  practical application to the reader.

Freelance Peter Hill was runner up – for his article, published in Farmers Weekly, titled How to design the perfect sprayer filling shed.

Judges said it was a well-researched and easy to understand article.

They said Peter's article had many practical lessons in innovative techniques to minimise spillages and contamination when filling the sprayer.

This was an important subject as environmental compliance becomes ever more important.


BGAJ Keenan Alltech 2016 - Caroline StocksIn the first year of Alltech's support for the Guild awards, Keenan Alltech chief executive Robert Walker emphasised how appropriate it is that the diet feeder manufacturer and animal nutrition business, which has been built on innovation, should continue to encourage articles and broadcasts that reflect the high level of innovation practiced by farmers.

The winning entry by Caroline Stocks described an innovative approach to running a dairy business and was published in Farmers Weekly.

It detailed how the decision to adopt high-tech management systems has made it possible to increase yields, reduce costs and create a profitable enterprise.

BGAJ Keenan Alltech 2016 - WinnerWith financial and production data, as well as advice for farmers, the winning article stood out for the range of fresh ideas it contained and was considered to be a clear and practical piece for readers.

Caroline was away when the awards were presented at the Guild's Harvest Lunch; she is pictured (right) receiving her IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Award at IFAJ Congress 2016.

Click on the image to read Caroline's article.


Runner-up for the BGAJ Keenan Alltech 2016 award, freelance Nick Fone, wrote in Profi International about the huge investment made on a Dorset dairy unit.

He is pictured (left) with Robert Walker and Farmers Weekly editor Karl Schneider, who collected Caroline's award on her behalf.

Nick's article revealed how the installation of robotic milkers and a technology-packed building with underground slurry storage has enabled the dairy farm's cow numbers to be doubled and economies of scale to be made – shaving 2.5ppl off the cost of production.

Click on the image to read Nick's article.

BGAJ Keenan Alltech 2016 - SecondBGAJ Keenan Alltech 2016 - Nick Fone





The winning article by Jonathan Wheeler was published in Farm Machinery Journal in September 2014 and highlighted the range of technology used on an Oxfordshire farm with the aim of ensuring optimum beef production performance and profitability.

It was full of concise information, including some financials, and made good use of quotes and comments, noted the judges, who also said Jonathan's article was packed with good examples of innovation.

As they pointed out, tight margins mean livestock farmers need to develop systems that can manage costs and improve quality. The article described innovative approaches to cattle housing and handling design, forage production and feeding management that could apply to a wide range of readers.

The runner-up was Rachael Porter for an article published in Cow Management that highlighted the importance of reducing antibiotic use in dairy herds and how farmers in Norway are tackling the issue.

Judges said Rachael's article was very well researched and included viewpoints from several valid sources, with a good balance of relevant quotes. It also introduced farmer readers to innovation and new ways of doing business from another country, in a clear and engaging manner.


Gerard Keenan, managing director of the feeder and nutrition management firm, announced the winners of the 2014 Richard Keenan Innovation in Agriculture journalism award at the annual Harvest Lunch. He was delighted that in its third year, the award attracted a record number of entries on topics illustrating the innovative nature of British farmers.

Gemma MackenzieThe winning article for the Press & Journal by farming editor Gemma Mackenzie described a biomass-fuelled dryer project installed by the Aberdeen Grain co-operative.

"It was the clear winner out of 15 entries into this year's Richard Keenan Innovation Award," he said. "An article that was well researched, written with confidence and had a natural flow, while still managing to get all the relevant costs, facts and figures into the informative piece.

"It also really met the needs of Gemma's local readership, showing her understanding of the farming community that she writes for."

Rachel LovellFreelance Rachel Lovell took the runner-up prize for an article on the way dairy farmers in Austria are adapting to change. It was published in Farmers Guardian and resulted from Rachel earning a place through the Guild on one of the facility trips organised by the European Network of Agricultural Journalists (ENAJ).

Gerard Keenan said: "The article demonstrated good interviewing skills, an empathy with and understanding of the subject matter and gave a clear account of what happens when young farmers are given the freedom to innovate and experiment."

Read Gemma's winning article here.

Read Rachel's runner-up article here.



BGAJ Keenan Award 2013Peter Hill, winner of the Guild's 2013 Richard Keenan Innovation in Agriculture journalism award, is a freelance machinery specialist based in Oxfordshire. He received the award from Noel Keenan, UK Market Director, at the Guild's annual Harvest Lunch in London.

His winning article, published in Farmers Weekly, describes the invention of a novel moisture meter for monitoring grain in store and how farmer Micheal Summers tackled the challenges of patents, design, packaging and distribution.

Keenan chairman Gerard Keenan said: "The judges were impressed with the quality of the entries this year, and personally I found your entry to be really interesting in the way it didn't just describe the features and benefits of Micheal Summer’s Smartprobe Grain Moisture Meter, but gave an in-depth insight into the process of turning an innovative idea into a commercial product."

The runner-up article, by James Andrews of Farmers Weekly, described the technology and benefits of real-time data collection through machine telematics. It was an excellent story, said the judges, which explained in simple terms how this complex technology works.

The 2013 award entries were judged by Gerard Keenan, last year’s winner freelance journalist Nancy Nicholson, Press & Journal Business and Agricultural Editor Joe Watson, and PR Consultant Doreen Forsyth.

Read Peter's winning article here

Read James' runner-up article here

BGAJ Keenan Award 2013


With all entries received for the inaugural Keenan Innovation Award being of a very high standard, the judges’ job was made especially difficult and prompted much discussion and debate about the eventual outcome.

Nancy NicolsonJudged by a panel comprising award sponsor Gerard Keenan, Farmers Guardian news editor Ben Briggs, experienced journalist and Farm North-East editor Eddie Gillanders, and PR specialist Doreen Forsyth, the winning entry was praised by all four judges.

Written by freelance journalist Nancy Nicholson and published in Farmers Weekly, the article (below) and accompanying video on the Monitor Farms initiative gave an insight into an important development that has moved away from the isolated and guarded nature of traditional farming towards a progressive spirit of collaboration and sharing of knowledge.

It resulted in an upsurge of enthusiasm and enquiries to agencies that run the Monitor Farms programme.

BGAJ Harvest

Runner up was Mike Abram, pictured above receiving his prize from Gerard Keenan at the Harvest Lunch, with an in-depth article on controlled traffic farming, which was published in Crops. The article explained how this means of regulating wheelings to confine soil compaction can be set up and the benefits that it can bring, and gave practical advice to those interested in setting up a CTF system. It also included a detailed case study.

Again, the judges highlighted the amount of work and research that had gone into a very informative piece.

Read Nancy's winning article here plus the supporting video on FWi here.

Read Mike's runner-up article here

BGAJ Keenan - Nancy Nicolson

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