The first grants from the Joe Watson Legacy Fund have been awarded to Farmers Guardian reporter Lauren Dean and freelance journalist Martin Rickatson.
The charity – established in memory of former BGAJ chairman Joe Watson – the fund had welcomed applications from Guild Members who wanted help funding education or training opportunities.
It received a total of seven submissions, from which the trustees picked two that best-matched the fund’s goals of encouraging personal and professional development.
Martin’s funding will help pay for travel to the USA where he plans to investigate the potential for UK home-grown soya in light of changing trade policies.
Meanwhile, new Guild Member Lauren (pictured above) received her funding to enable her to take part in an ENAJ low-budget press trip to Croatia.
Fund trustees said they were particularly pleased to see an application from Lauren, as one of their priorities is supporting new entrants to agricultural journalism and communications.
The awards were announced at the Royal Highland Show on Thursday, 21 June.
Commending the range of ideas in the applications, fund trustee Adrian Bell said future applicants should remember that the fund’s focus is on personal and professional development.
The trust is also interested in proposals that can help improve the public’s understanding of agriculture.
Supporting the Joe Watson Legacy Fund
To ensure the trust’s funds can grow and continue to support future projects, Guild Members are being asked to help raise money through two everyday activities.
The trust has teamed up with Recycle4Charity to offer an easy way to recycle inkjet or toner printer cartridges and raise funds at the same time. The JWLF will receive £1 for every cartridge collected.
To take part, Members simply need to apply for either an inkjet or a laser/toner envelope, and return to cartridges in the post.
The trust will also have a mobile phone recycling box at the Harvest Lunch for Members to donate any old handsets to a good cause.
As part of its other fundraising efforts, the trustees have also registered the fund with Amazon’s charitable arm, Smile.
By using the Amazon special link, the fund will receive between 0.5 and 1.5% of the purchase price.
“We’re keen to find other ways in which Guild Members can support the fund and will continue to look at other fundraising options,” said Adrian. “We would also welcome any other suggestions guild members may have.”