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NOAH Animal Health & Welfare Journalism Award

Enquiries?
Louise Impey
01582 872271
Louise Impey

£1000 prize fund for written and broadcast news stories and features highlighting critical aspects of animal health, welfare, management and care.

Sponsored by The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH), which represents the UK animal medicines industry. Its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals.

Entry deadline: Saturday, January 31

Download an entry form in Word or PDF format.

Winners

2014

Calf pneumonia and hoof trimming were the topics chosen by Members of the Guild for the winning entries published in 2014 and presented to the authors at NOAH's 2015 annual dinner. Rachel Queenborough (below left, with NOAH chairman Cat Sayer, topped the result, with an article for the XLVets newsletters, and Rachael Porter took the runner-up spot with her hoof trimming advice in Cow Management. Read the full story here.

BGAJ-NOAH 2015 - Queenborough BGAJ-NOAH 2015 - Porter

2013

Out of a record number of entries this year, an article on improving dairy herd health to boost margins was selected as winner of the Guild's NOAH-sponsored award for animal health and welfare journalism.

The article, written by Farmers Guardian livestock editor Katie Jones was judged to have been particularly accurate, clear and of great value to readers, with exceptional story construction, writing style and use of quotes.

BGAJ NOAH 2013 - Katie JonesKatie said: “I'm absolutely thrilled to have won this award and would like to thank NOAH for their support of the work the agricultural press does in raising the awareness of animal health issues.

“Animal health is of huge importance to the readers of Farmers Guardian and we will endeavour to continue to provide useful and practical advice on herd and flock health.”

Runner-up, coming a very close second, was Rhian Price, livestock journalist with Farmers Weekly, for her article on tailoring treatment plans to tackle fluke in sheep.

“I'm honoured and delighted to receive the runner-up prize,” said Rhian, whose work scored highly with the judges on accuracy and clarity, and on the value of her article to the farming audience.

The awards, which were presented at the NOAH annual dinner in London, are presented to a writer or broadcaster who submits a news story or feature article that best highlights critical aspects of animal health, welfare and management, or examines topical and relevant issues on any aspect of farm animal care.

The winner receives a cheque for £750, and the runner up a cheque for £250.

NOAH Chief Executive Phil Sketchley, who was one of the panel of three judges for the award, said: “We were delighted to have had a record number of entries this year, all of an excellent standard, which made the judges’ lives quite difficult!

“This award continues to show the talent and professionalism of agricultural journalists who provide valuable information for farmers involved in the care of Britain’s farm animals. Articles like these make a significant contribution to animal health and welfare, and NOAH is proud to support the work of journalists through this award.”

Read Katie's winning article here.

Read Rhian's runner-up article here.

2012

NOAH 2012

Expertly crafted articles on significant diseases of sheep and cattle came out on top in judging the Guild’s NOAH-sponsored animal health and welfare journalism awards.

Winners Gemma Mackenzie (above) and Rachel Queenborough attended the annual dinner of the National Office for Animal Health with Guild vice-chairman Howard Venters.

They received their cash prizes and certificates from NOAH chief executive Phil Sketchley, who said: “As one of the three judges for the award, I was greatly impressed by the high standard and number of entries. This award continues to show the talent and professionalism in the world of agricultural journalism.

“These writers are providing valuable information for farmers, and others involved in the care of Britain’s farm animals," he added. "The articles they produce make a significant contribution to animal health and welfare.”

First prize went to Gemma Mackenzie's article in Farmers Weekly urging sheep farmers not to ignore the significance of Johne’s disease. The judges praised Gemma’s article for its accuracy and value to the audience, which was “expressed in a particularly good style to carry its messages to the readers”.

“I'm delighted to win this award and be recognised by NOAH for my writing,” says Gemma. “We chose to write about Johne's in sheep following comments from Farmers Weekly readers on our online forums.

“Beef and dairy producers are very aware of the threat of this disease but the threat it poses to sheep is often unknown amongst producers,” she points out. “I wanted to alert sheep farmers to the threat of the disease and provide an overview of what can be done to identify it in their flocks."

NOAH 2012 - Rachel Queenborough

Rachel Queenborough (above), who writes the XL Vets publication Livestock Matters, was particuarly pleased to win her award: “It’s the first time I’ve entered!”

The judges were particularly taken with the accuracy of her article Keeping IBR in check, and with the good quotes and interviews that supported the content.

Read Gemma's winning article here

Read Rachel's runner-up article here

2011

The National Office of Animal Health, sponsor of the Guild’s animal health and welfare journalism award, generously invited the 2011 winners to its annual dinner where the results were announced in front of more than 200 people involved in the animal health industry.

The top award went to freelance journalist Olivia Cooper, whose article in Farmers Weekly on Bovine TB prevention was accompanied by a video on FWi website. The judges singled out this piece for its relevance and clarity, and for the important information it passed on to readers.

GAJ-NOAH 2011 - Olivia Cooper

“I’m delighted to have won the award,” says Olivia, pictured above with NOAH chief executive Phil Sketchley (right) and past NOAH chairman Bob Parmenter. “TB is a devastating disease, and I wanted to provide some practical tips for farmers seeking to protect their herds while they waited for the outcome of the Government’s consultation on the culling of TB-infected badgers.”

Runner-up was Joanne Pugh (pictured below), assistant director of the National Beef Association. Her article on improving calf management, written when she was livestock editor on Farmers Guardian, was described by the judges as energetic and well-written, “providing valuable information for anybody thinking about either starting a calf rearing enterprise or looking to improve a current one and captures the positive thinking of the farmers”.

Joanne said: “I’m absolutely delighted to take home an award and I think it is really important that the hard work of journalists and others is recognised in this way.”

Phil Sketchley, one of three judges for the awards, was greatly impressed by the high standard of entries.

“They demonstrate that there is a great pool of talent and professionalism out there in the world of agricultural journalism,” he said. “These writers are providing valuable information for farmers and those involved in the rural industries, and making a significant contribution to animal health and welfare. We’re grateful to all Guild members who took part.”

Read Olivia's winning article here

Read Joanne's runner-up article here

GAJ-NOAH 2011 - Joanne Pugh

2010

NOAH 2010 PowellFrom a selection of high quality entries, freelance Claire Powell’s article on an important disease of ruminants was judged the winner of the Guild’s 2010 NOAH Writer/Broadcaster of the Year award.

Sponsored by the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH), the award recognises excellence in reporting critical aspects of animal health, welfare and management, or writing that explores issues relevant to any aspect of farm animal care.

Claire’s article – Meeting the challenges of Johne’s disease at Carcary – was published in the Scottish publication Farm North East and was praised by the judges for being reader-friendly and for providing practical information on an important disease.

NOAH 2010 BalsamThe runner-up prize was awarded to Farmers Weekly deputy livestock editor Aly Balsom for her article Is bigger better?, which reported on the magazine of large-scale dairy herds in the United States. The judges felt Aly had tackled a report on one of the big challenges that could face British livestock farmers in future particularly well.

Both articles were judged to have been well written, practical and informative.

Read Claire's article here.

Read Aly's article here (pt 1) and here (pt 2).

2009

The new AgriLIVE Smithfield event held at Stoneleigh was chosen as the venue for presenting the Guild's 2009 animal health and welfare management writing awards sponsored by NOAH – the National Office for Animal Health.

This popular award is for news stories or articles that explore critical aspects of animal health, welfare and management, or look at issues relevant to any aspect of farm animal care. This year’s judges stressed that all 2009 entries were of a very high quality.

The winner, for an article in Farmers Weekly on mastitis control planning, was presented to deputy livestock editor Sarah Trickett, who received a cheque for £750.

NOAH communications manager Alison Glennon presents the winner's award certificate to Sarah Trickett of Farmers Weekly

Freelance Karen Wright receives the runner-up award certificate

Taking home the runner-up cheque for £250 was freelance Karen Wright, for her article on cattle lameness control published in Cow Management.

Both Guild members were judged to have written practical and informative articles, focused on the award’s brief.

The awards were presented by fellow Guild member Alison Glennon, NOAH communications manager.

  • Read Sarah's winning article here
  • Read Karen's runner-up article here
2008

An article on Bluetongue, the midge-borne viral disease that threatens the British livestock industry, won Farmers Guardian senior reporter Jack Davies the NOAH Writer/Broadcaster of the Year title.

Jack entered his article Bluetongue - the myths, rumours and the real truth for the NOAH-sponsored Guild award after it was published in a Farmers Guardian animal health supplement.

Speaking at NOAH's annual dinner on behalf of the judging panel, chief executive Phil Sketchley said the article was well written and topical.

"It gave a balanced approach to the debate with a cross section of opinions from farmers, vets and academics and had clear recommended actions for farmers," he added.

Jack collected a cheque for £750 as first-prize winner, while the runner-up prize of £250 went to Rachael Porter for her article Draw up a stock 'shopping list'?, which appeared in Cow Management magazine.

Rachel Porter

"These awards reflect the hard work and dedication to their subjects that these winning journalists have displayed," says Phil Sketchley. "They produced lively and informative articles that stimulate debate and contribute to the recognition that healthy animals mean healthy food."

  • Read Jack Davies’ wining article here
  • Read Rachael Porter’s article here
2007

A graphic television broadcast debating the issue of procedures such as calf de-horning, tail docking and cutting piglets' teeth won Nancy Nicolson the Guild's NOAH Writer/Broadcaster of the Year 2007 award, which celebrates news stories and articles that explore critical aspects of animal health, welfare and management, or looks at issues relevant to any aspect of farm animal care.

Nancy Nicolson. Image courtesy of BBC Scotland.

he item broadcast by BBC Scotland in its Landward rural affairs programme presented expert opinion on animal mutilations from the Royal Dick Veterinary College, Edinburgh, as well as the opinions of a representative of lobby organisation, Advocates for Animals, and farmers who demonstrated the procedures.

"I think we produced a balanced programme in which opposing views were expressed very clearly and we also presented opinion from an expert on pain," says Nancy. "We presented the facts and left viewers to make up their own minds about the issue."

Jonathan Long, Farmers Weekly livestock editor, took the runner-up prize for an article exploring the future of a national scheme to breed scrapie-resistant sheep.

Jonathan Long

"The scheme was set-up with DEFRA funding when it was believed that scrapie could be masking the presence of BSE in sheep," Jonathan explains. "But when it was realised that is not the case, the rationale for a fully-Government funded scheme was removed."

The article highlights the implications for the sheep industry of a review of the scheme, as well as questioning other legislation introduced as public health protection measures.

The award's keen sponsor, National Office of Animal Health, represents UK companies that research, develop, manufacture and market licensed animal health products.

"These awards reflect the hard work and dedication to their subjects that these winning journalists have displayed," says Philip Sketchley, chief executive of NOAH. "They have produced lively and informative material that stimulate debate and contribute to the recognition that healthy animals mean healthy food."

  • Read Jonathan Long's winning article here and his Editorial piece here
2006

Judges of the 2006 award said they were looking for articles covering cost/benefits and practical advice that could help justify farmers embarking on a programme of advanced animal health.

The winning article by Farmers Guardian features editor Joanne Pugh explained to farmers how they could benefit from a two-stage lambing process. The article, which the judges described as "constructive with practical examples to follow", focussed on a Shropshire sheep farmer who has instigated a number of changes to make the lambing process easier and more successful.

The runner-up article was written by Jessica Buss, then livestock editor of Farmers Weekly. It appeared in a Dairy Update supplement and tackled issues of cattle lameness. The article Scoring can put lameness on the run was a call for action on a significant problem and offered a number of solutions for farmers to consider.

Joanne Pugh of Farmers Guardian receives her award from NOAH chief executive Phil Sketchley (left) and Roger Abbott, Guild chairman 2006

2005

Nancy Nicolson won this year's NOAH award with a television broadcast about dairy cow welfare, while Tia Rund was runner-up with an article in Farmers Guardian on the Sheep Veterinary Society’s Flock Health Programme.

Nancy Nicolson won the NOAH award with a television broadcast on dairy cow welfare.

Tia Rund, Farmers Guardian eastern region correspondent, was runner-up for the NOAH award with an article on sheep health.

2004

1st prize: Chris Walkland – Article in Dairy Farmer, November 2003
"How much can you save on your herd health bill"

In the opinion of the judges Chris Walkland's article best met the criteria of the NOAH award in highlighting critical aspects of animal health, welfare and management as well as examining topical and relevant issues relating to farm animal care.

The article examined the benefits of developing a herd health plan and how preventative action can avoid expensive treatment at a later date.

Runner-up: Claire Powell – Article in Farmers Weekly, March 2004
"Orkneys attack on BVD lifts profits"

Claire's article again met the criteria of the award particularly focussing on how healthy cattle make enterprises more viable.

The article looked at a BVD eradication programme in the Orkneys showing how far profits rose and the use of medicines was reduced.

Highly commended: Andrew Arbuckle – The Dundee Courier and Advertiser, November 2003
"Breeders warned of sheep disease threat"

Andrew's article in the Saturday edition of The Dundee Courier and Advertiser drew to the attention not only of the farming readership but also a wider, general readership an important issue facing sheep farmers.

The piece was well written, well argued and brought some of the issues facing farming into the public domain.

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