Members are being invited to enter the Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ all-new Public Engagement Award, which is being sponsored by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) for the first time.
The award, which carries a £750 prize pot, celebrates the work of journalists, broadcasters and podcasters who shine a light on individuals and businesses who go above and beyond to tell the story of more sustainable and regenerative UK food production.
Carl Edwards, Director of LEAF Education, said: “LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) is delighted to sponsor the BGAJ Public Engagement Award, celebrating journalism that highlights the great work that farmers across the world do in enthusing the public about the importance of more climate positive farming and food production.
“One of the founding principles of LEAF was to help farming to engage more successfully with the public and demonstrate its responsible stewardship of the environment.”
LEAF’s involvement with the Guild is especially poignant this year, following the recent death of its chief executive Caroline Drummond MBE.
Mr Edwards added: “Public engagement was a passion of Caroline’s and led to the Speak Out farmer media training programme and LEAF Open Farm Sunday, which has seen millions of people visit farms for the first time. Meanwhile, the LEAF Marque is an assurance that food has been produced in a way that enhances the environment.
“LEAF Education has supported more than 1,000 teachers to learn more about food and farming and works with 75,000 children of all school ages. Every fortnight 1,000 schools catch up with a farmer remotely through Farmer Time, while thousands of others visit farms or are visited by a farmer every year.”
Longstanding GAJ member Cedric Porter, who sits on the LEAF board, will judge the entries, alongside Carl and LEAF’s Marketing and Communications Manager Justine Hards and last year’s winner of the Public Engagement Award (sponsored by Red Tractor) Clemmie Gleeson.
Judges are looking for stories that showcase people who realise how important it is for consumers to understand where their food comes from and take the opportunity to get the message across.
Examples include articles about farmers who have opened their farms to the public, created a direct sales channel, used social media to communicate farming’s contribution to consumer’s understanding of sustainable food production or used technology to tell their traceability story.
Send your entries to email@example.com before midnight on Friday, August 26. Print stories and broadcasts published from August 2021 are eligible.
More information on LEAF and LEAF Education visit www.leaf.eco