News has reached the Guild that former member Norman Dunn died earlier this year. He was a member of the British Guild for more than 30 years as well as the equivalent organisation (VDAJ) in Germany, where he lived and worked for most of his career and in retirement.
Norman was a loyal supporter of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) and was a frequent delegate to the annual international Congress held in a different country each year, and where he built up many new farming and media contacts around the world.
Retired Guild member Arthur Anderson, remembers him well:
“Born in the Scottish market town of Forfar in the county of Angus, Norrie (as he was widely known) was brought up on a farm and joined the reporting staff of The Courier in Dundee shortly after leaving agricultural college, later moving a little further north to the Press & Journal in Aberdeen.
“He was a popular member of the Scottish agricultural press corps and was always willing to open his contacts book to help colleagues on a wide range of farming stories.”
Norman moved to Germany to take up the role of Editor of The Furrow, the pan-European magazine published by John Deere from its European headquarters in Mannheim, and he developed a wide range of contacts throughout the farming industry in a developing and growing European Union.
He also wrote as a freelance, reporting on European agriculture for radio, television, magazines and newspapers, and developed a major interest in pig farming, particularly how scientific developments help pork production efficiency, animal health and pig welfare.
The German farmers’ organisation DLG was another client, Norman being a fluent German speaker, writing for its publications, including the magazine Agrifuture that sought to predict likely technical and market developments in the word of farming.
According Manuel Tomm of the VDAJ:
“Norman Dunn was a sought-after translator of texts, he always managed to find the right style and tone. He has always been a loyal and reliable contact for us, and used his experience and knowledge for the benefit of our association without imposing himself. We will miss his advice and support and will always gratefully remember his commitment to our association.”
His many talents were often called on back in the UK too, not least by BBC Scotland’s television farming programme Landward for whom he did occasional research and, while filming, simultaneous translation.
As the former producer of the Landward programme, Arthur Anderson recalls:
“Nothing was ever too much trouble for Norrie. Any research he did on the BBC’s behalf was thorough, accurate and punctual, as befits the fine reporter he was. Norrie was always good to work with and proved popular with all his media colleagues.”
Norman leaves his partner in Germany and a sister in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire to whom the Guild send sincere condolences.