Farmers Guardian head of machinery and technology Toby Whatley has won the prestigious Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ Perkins Power on the Farm Award.
Power on the Farm, which is now in its 51st year, is the Guild’s longest running award and celebrates the work of journalists who keep the industry informed of the latest technological developments, regularly writing about innovation in the sector and how it can be incorporated into farming operations.
James Reed, Perkins’ global OEM sales director, who presented the awards, said with agriculture being one of the world’s most important jobs, ‘it needs the world’s best communication to support it and that is where BGAJ members come in’.
Mr Reed said: “Perkins is thrilled to have supported the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists for more than 50 years: recognising, rewarding and encouraging you – the agricultural journalists and writers who keep our industry informed, engaged and up-to-date.”
Toby’s article, a product test of the Mercedes Unimog U435, was published in FG in October, 2022.
Judges praised the quality of information presented in the article and said its basic premise – potential fuel savings – would be ‘likely to chime with readers’, and that it was ‘worthwhile to take another look at the Unimog’.
Joint winners of the technology category were Melanie Jenkins of Crop Production Magazine and freelance journalist Mick Roberts, for a piece in Farm Machinery Journal.
Judges said Melanie’s article, Swimming against the grain’ provided a ‘fascinating and insightful’ report on a piece of new grain store monitoring technology.
Judges said this article ‘certainly fits the technology brief’. They singled out how ‘effort has clearly been made to produce an interesting, characterful introduction’ by posing the problem and then offering a solution. They also noted how ‘the addition of a case study provides grounding and further insight into real-world benefits’.
Of Mick’s piece, judges praised its focus on technology to help improve spray application accuracy, efficacy and safety, adding it had ‘clearly been well researched’.
They said: “The author offers plenty of insights into the various technologies without getting bogged down in the details’.
Sections were described as ‘snappy and informative’, an ‘easy read’, yet ‘backed up by stats and data where necessary’.
Runner-up in the Power category after Toby, with a piece titled ‘Revealed: Britain’s biggest farm machinery dealers’, published in Farmers Weekly, was freelancer Peter Hill.
Martin Rickatson, who regularly contributes to Farmers Guardian’s machinery section, was runner up and commended by judges in the Technology category, for his story ‘Grape harvester offers labour shortage solution’, published in FG.
The winners were treated to a day of hospitality at Wimbledon as part of the generous prizes offered by Peterborough-based Perkins, meeting celebrity chef Michel Roux Jnr and watching the Number one seed Iga Swiatek’s dominant display against her hotly tipped Chinese opponent Zhu Lin.