Published on 16th April 2019
Guild member and Farmers Guardian chief reporter Abi Kay has been selected as one of 10 IFAJ/Alltech young leaders to attend this year's 2019 IFAJ Congress in the USA.
Abi will join agricultural journalists and communicators from across the world who have all been selected for “having demonstrated outstanding achievement in reporting as well as excellent potential as leaders of the industry in years to come.”
The International Federation of International Journalists event takes place in Minnesota from 26-31 July.
This year’s IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders are:
- Prince Appiah, Multimedia Group, Ltd., Ghana
- Moses Bailey, Radio Gbarnga/The Bush Chicken, Liberia
- Kasey Brown, Angus Media, United States of America
- Marzell Buffler, Landmedien Deutschland, Germany
- Melissa Dahlqvist, Swedish Agro Machinery, Sweden
- Seedy Darboe, Network of Ag Communicators, The Gambia
- Louise Denvir, RTÉ, Ireland
- Abi Kay, Farmers Guardian, United Kingdom
- Samantha Tennent, Dairy NZ, New Zealand
- Angus Verley, Australian Broadcasting Company, Australia
In her application, Abi said: “The path I took to becoming an agricultural journalist is a slightly unusual one.
“My professional background is less cows, sheep and crops and more Big Ben, parliamentary procedure and canvassing.
“After completing a BA in Politics at Leeds University and an MA in European Politics at KCL, I started working as a policy and communications adviser to Karen Bradley, MP for Staffordshire Moorlands.
“It wasn't until I took this job that I began to take a serious interest in agriculture, as Karen represented a very rural seat – even though I grew up on my grandad's dairy farm and watched my uncle struggle to keep the business afloat as I got older.
“As someone who has very much caught the journalism bug, but who has limited official training, I feel this programme could really benefit me and help me to better the content I produce.
“I also place a really high value on making contacts, especially those from overseas as our readers like to know what's happening outside the UK.”
Alltech president and chief executive Mark Lyons said: “The importance of strong journalism in communicating agriculture’s truth in today’s world cannot be overstated.
“We are proud to support the next generation of journalists who are passionate about sharing the real stories of the farm and field, and the men and women who work tirelessly to feed our planet.”
IFAJ secretary general Steve Werblow said the IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders programme had helped strengthen many individual careers – as well as the IFAJ and many guilds around the world.
Steve said: “Bringing together these talented, motivated and energetic young professionals is always a highlight of the year, and watching them go back home with new contacts and perspective is extremely exciting.
"Many of our organization’s dedicated volunteers are alumni of the Young Leaders programme, which is true testament to how it helps build IFAJ year after year.
"We are grateful to Alltech for its long commitment to the future of agricultural journalism, and very excited to meet the Young Leaders of 2019.”
The Young Leaders will also participate in a Boot Camp in the days prior to Congress, which includes professional development and networking workshops and farm visits in southern Minnesota.