All Members and Friends of the Guild should by now have received a copy of the Year Book for 2012/13, which contains a complete listing of members with their contact details and areas of interest/expertise.
The 120-page publication, generously produced for the Guild by Wendy and Peter Ryder of Lancer PR, is illustrated with an excellent cover image showing Belted Galloway cattle provided by freelance agricultural photographer, Guild member John Eveson.
The Year Book is an invaluable reference work to keep close to hand. In addition to the Guild member listing it also contains a directory of farming and rural organisations, agricultural colleges and breed societies.
Other sections cover the Guild’s awards programme, the work of the Charitable Trust and a profile of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) to which all British Guild members belong.
It also details the rules and conditions of membershp of the Guild, which includes the ‘aims and objectives’ of our organisation. In his Foreword to the Year Book, Guild chairman Adrian Bell highlights the addition of a sixth item in this section: to contribute towards a better understanding of agriculture’s social, economic and environmental importance.
In other words, to find ways of encouraging members and others to spread the word about agriculture’s positive contribution to life in Britain to those not involved in the industry.
The Stuart Seaton Award does this by rewarding regional newspapers and their journalists for excellence in reporting farming and rural affairs issues. The new Don Gomery Memorial Award will do the same for British journalists who are not specialists in our field but have done most to increase the understanding of food and farming amongst the population.
When the first such award is presented at the annual Harvest Lunch in October, it will also be a fitting memorial to the Don Gomery, an enthusiastic past secretary of the Guild and consumate journalists.