Trustees for the Joe Watson Legacy Fund say they are eager to receive applications from Guild Members in its inaugural year, announcing a deadline extension until 4 June for the receipt of submissions.
The charity was established in memory of Joe Watson – the late Press & Journal editor, former BGAJ chairman and committed IFAJ supporter – with surplus funds from the IFAJ 2014 Congress.
It seeks to improve the wider understanding of agriculture and to provide improved education or training for agricultural journalism and communication.
“The terms of the Fund, while clearly aimed at education and understanding, have deliberately been set as loosely as possible,” says its chairman Adrian Bell.
Former BGAJ Council members Louise Impey (previously the Guild’s awards secretary) and Julie Mate (ex CPD secretary) make up the three-strong board of trustees.
“We’re looking for applications that will not only inspire us as trustees, but also inspire and inform fellow Guild Members on completion.
“They should also have the potential to bring agricultural understanding to a wider audience,” says Adrian.
For this opening round of applications, the trustees have agreed to make one or more grants, to a total of £1,500.
Applicants can apply for whole or part-funding, with the trustees free to exercise discretion over the number and value of grants made.
“Perhaps Guild Members have been nurturing a pet project, related in some way to education or knowledge transfer, that they’d now like to progress,” says Adrian.
“Or maybe they have always wanted to attend an IFAJ Congress, to meet with fellow agricultural journalists from other countries and to understand ag communications issues outside the United Kingdom.
“Joe was a stalwart of IFAJ Congresses over the years and recognised the value in being able to compare and contrast his work with those of his fellow journalists around the world.
“He was also a fervent advocate for bringing new entrants into the profession, which is why the trustees are particularly keen to hear from younger Members of the Guild whose career might benefit from attendance on a course, or overseas travel on an IFAJ or ENAJ programme.”
Applicants to the fund must be UK residents and already be active in food and farming journalism and communication, or starting a career within it.
Any grants made are conditional on sharing and reporting on the subject of the application with Guild Members and/or through the British agricultural press.