The 2023 winner of the BGAJ John Deere Training Award has been announced as Marina Schjoett, with Tom Woolman claiming the runner-up place.
Marina is a recent Harper Adams University agriculture graduate who has a particular interest in sustainable farming, agroecology, and food security.
Her winning article – Sustainable Robot Ushers in the Future of Farming – talks about the FarmDroid, an organic seeding and weeding robot powered by solar power which is the only multipurpose farm robot that is commercially available and has been purchased in over 25 countries.
Marina received £250 in prize money and a guest ticket to the Guild’s annual Harvest Lunch in London in October.
Runner-up Tom Woolman is currently a freelance journalist and consultant, who has experience working in chicken breeding, most recently as Head of Breeding at Avara Foods.
His article, Permit to Produce, talks about the environmental concerns surrounding the poultry industry, the complexities around gaining environmental permits and planning, and the concern of the what the cost of protecting the environment for producers will be.
As runner-up, Tom won £100 and will also attend the Harvest Lunch event.
Sponsored by John Deere and held at the company’s UK headquarters in Nottinghamshire, the Guild’s training course and award provides opportunities for trainees to progress into agricultural journalism.
Chris Wiltshire, John Deere’s Marketing Manager for the UK and Ireland, said: “A huge congratulations to both Marina and Tom. It is really great to see the training course helping talented journalists progress in their journalistic skills which will ultimately help them in their careers.”
The course gives an immersive introduction to the world of journalism and previously has helped to produce some of the leading editors, correspondents and communications leaders working in the industry today.
Applications for the 2024 training course will open in January.