The next generation of agricultural communicators are being offered an eye-opening introduction to the world of journalism and public relations thanks to the 2023 British Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ John Deere Training Award.
The award, which has been running for more than 30 years, has helped to produce some of the UK’s leading editors, correspondents and communications professionals working in the industry today.
It offers ten aspiring communicators the chance to take part in an immersive training course, as well as a work placement with a national farming publication, agricultural PR agency, or in a communications department of a farmer-facing business.
Each course member then has the chance to enter their best piece of work to be judged, with the winner taking home the overall John Deere Training Award and £250 first prize. A runner up will receive £100. Both prize winners will also be invited to as guests to the Guild’s flagship Harvest Lunch event in London.
“The John Deere Training Award has been completed by many of the top agricultural journalists in the sector and we are very proud to have played a part in shaping their careers,” said Chris Wiltshire, tactical marketing manager at John Deere.
“The agricultural industry is changing and unprecedented challenges are presenting themselves all the time, so the need to recruit top journalists to communicate our industry’s work is extremely important.”
The course will be led by experienced journalists and agricultural communicators, with practical exercises covering the main media sectors. Journalist and journalism lecturer David Mascord will lead the content over the three days.
Special guest speakers will address the cohort during the course and participants will also get the opportunity to put John Deere’s tractors and all-terrain utility vehicles through their paces with a driving experience.
BAGJ Chairman Johann Tasker said: “It is vital that we source out young talent to bring into the agricultural communications sector and this training course is the perfect place to find and develop that talent.
“I completed the course many years ago and I would urge anyone who is eligible to go for it – it’s one of the best opportunities that you will get.”
Applications for this year’s free training, which will take place at John Deere’s UK and Ireland headquarters in Langar, Nottinghamshire, from 2-4 July, are now open.
The course is open to any aspiring communicators, whether they are from an agricultural background or not, but applicants must be studying in Great Britain, or be a British resident.
The course is primarily aimed at graduating students who are keen to find work within the industry, or journalists with fewer than 12 months’ practical experience, but all applications will be considered on their merit.
To apply, return a completed application form (https://tinyurl.com/GAJJDcourse) by 31 March 2023.