Many of today’s journalists and PR executives working in the land-based industries received an early boost to their careers by winning a place on the British Guild’s training scheme sponsored and hosted by John Deere.
They include new Guild members Rhian Price, who joined Poultry World in January as a reporter, and Matthew Sharp (pictured left) who freelances for Farmers Weekly, Farming Online, the National Farmers Union and Newcastle Journal farming section. Both took part in the 2011 course and Matthew won the ‘best student article’ prize.
This year, the Guild’s John Deere Training Award course for potential agricultural and horticultural journalists is being held from Sunday to Tuesday, July 8 to 10, plus three days’ work experience.
Now in its 20th year, the course is designed to support one of the principal aims of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists – to promote schemes for the provision of suitable entrants into agricultural and horticultural journalism. It is aimed at graduating students keen to work in the agricultural and horticultural media but is also open to those already working as journalists or public relations staff but who have less than 12 months’ experience in these roles.
There are 10 places available, which involves two full days of lectures and practical exercises at John Deere’s headquarters in Langar, Nottinghamshire. Students then have three days’ work experience at a specialist magazine, newspaper or PR consultancy.
Each student is required to write a news story for judging by an expert panel; they compete for a £250 cheque and the handsome John Deere trophy. The course is free, although successful applicants are expected to cover their own travel and other daily expenses.
Guild members who know of potential students for the course can either direct them to the application form available here – which must be returned by Friday May 25, 2012 – or pass their contact details to organiser Steve Mitchell of ASM Public Relations (024 7630 8912 / 07717 213182).