Agricultural PR and communications expert Jane Craigie has been awarded the BGAJ’s 2023 Netherthorpe Communicator of the Year award.
Presenting the award at the Guild’s Harvest Lunch in London (13 October), Guild chairman Johann Tasker said Jane was widely respected as a key figure in agricultural communications and journalism, as well as being a mentor and friend throughout the industry.
“She has played key roles in shaping the British Guild and has more recently taken up the mantle of being the UK’s representative for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, too,” he said.
As well as being a Lantra board member, Jane sits on the SRUC board and has been helping to develop methods to encourage students to consider agricultural journalism as a career.
While her agricultural and marketing agency, JC Communications, has grown significantly in recent years, she has also found time to set up the Rural Youth Project, to encourage and support young people living in rural areas.
“Jane is also instrumental in running the Oxford Farming Conference and loves nothing more than putting people together for the greater good,” Johann said.
“She is someone who continues to give back to the industry, always putting people at the fore of her work.”
Jane said receiving the Netherthorpe Award — the BGAJ’s most prestigious award — was incredibly special.
“I’ve been a member of the British Guild for over 30 years, which doesn’t seem possible,” she said.
“Judie Allen, who is sadly is no longer with us, was my first mentor and she encouraged me to join the Guild and gave me confidence in my abilities; she kindly coached me to recognise what makes a good story and how to make the best of the people I interviewed.
“Our Guild is a community that has brought me deep friendships, support and inspiration,” she added.
“The opportunities the Guild has given me has enabled me to really push myself to become a better communicator and leader, to learn so much about domestic and global agriculture via the IFAJ and to recognise just how deeply important our discipline of specialist agricultural communication – whether as a journalist or a communicator – is for upholding all that is good about our sector, and calling out what needs to change.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone in the Guild, to my fabulous team and also to our clients who entrust us every day with their storytelling.”