The BGAJ John Deere Training Course returned in July with 17 successful applicants taking part in an immersive introduction to the world of agricultural journalism and PR.
The course has helped to produce some of the leading editors, correspondents and communications leaders working in the industry today.
All participants met at a Nottingham city centre hotel on Sunday 3 July for the first time.
Course leader, David Mascord, an editorial training consultant and journalist met the group. Ben Pike, Deputy Chairman of the Guild and Martin Ward, also a Guild Member – both from Eve Communications – supported the course.
After a brief introduction that evening, discussions revolved around print and online journalism, and current training and job opportunities.
Monday morning saw a practical mock press conference take place delivered by Chris Wiltshire, Tactical Marketing Manager at John Deere.
With presentations by David about news and feature writing in between, two guest speakers then took to the stage.
Ben Briggs, Editor at Farmers Guardian delivered an introduction to agricultural journalism and Tim Relf, owner of The Operative Word, spoke about freelance journalism and interview techniques.
That evening the group dined out at the Cosy Club in Nottingham where conversations about PR, journalism were supported by mojitos.
David began Tuesday’s session by delving a bit deeper into news, feature writing and online journalism. Ben presented an introduction to PR and set a practical exercise involving PR crisis handling.
A slightly different experience was in store for the final afternoon.
All course attendees were given their pick of the John Deere tractor fleet to drive before being given a tour of the newly-opened John Deere Apprentice Centre.
To finish off, everyone retreated to the classroom to create a written piece before being given an outline of the award assignment and departing their separate ways.
Next steps will see the announcement of the award winner taking home the £250 first prize and runner-up receiving £100 with both being invited to the Guild Harvest Lunch in October.