Applications have opened for the Guild’s John Deere Training Award, the highly successful training course for new entrants to agricultural journalism, which will run from Monday, July 15 to Wednesday, July 17, plus three days’ work experience.
Now in its 21st year, the course is designed to support one of the principal aims of the Guild – promoting schemes for the provision of suitable entrants into agricultural and horticultural journalism.
“The John Deere Training Award is aimed at graduating students keen to work in the agricultural and horticultural media, and at journalists or public relations staff who have less than 12 months’ practical work experience,” explains course organiser Steve Mitchell of ASM PR. “Many of today’s journalists and PR executives working in the land-based industries received an early boost to their careers from winning a place on previous courses.”
They include a trio of successful students from the 2012 course: Rebecca Veale, who spent her work experience placement at the NFU, is now editor of the new Countryside Online website; Jez Fredenburgh is freelancing for Farmers Weekly and co-hosts weekly Twitter debates on food and farming at #agrichatuk; and Emily White joined Guild member Rachel Queenborough’s RQB PR consultancy straight after the course.
There are 10 places available on this annual course, which is in two parts. The first two full days, at John Deere’s headquarters in Langar, Nottingham, involve lectures by experienced training consultant David Mascord and practical exercises that cover the main media sectors. The final three days see each of the selected course members given practical work experience at one of a range of specialist magazines, newspapers or PR consultancies across the UK.
At the end of the course, each person has to write a news story for judging by an expert panel. The winner receives a £250 cheque and the handsome John Deere trophy at an informal presentation taking place later in the year – 2012 winner Louise Hartley is pictured above.
Anyone interested in attending the course, who must be studying or resident in Great Britain, have until Friday, May 24 to return a completed application form, which can be downloaded here. Address any queries to Steve Mitchell.
There is no charge for the course but successful applicants are expected to cover their own out of pocket expenses.