Journalists on Farmers Guardian scored a double in the Guild’s Yara-sponsored journalism awards in 2008, presented by Yara managing director Tove Andersen.
The runner-up in the Environment category was Steaking his claim to great food, a feature by Farmers Weekly‘s Farmlife editor, Tim Relf, that introduced the Australian TV chef John Torode as the president of the Royal Agricultural Society England.
The judges described it as an exceptionally well-written article: “This witty, entertaining profile gives a great insight into the personality of the man who is making it his priority to communicate what’s great about farming to the public and inspire a love of quality food,” said the judges.
However, the winning entry was an article by Alistair Driver, political editor on Farmers Guardian, whose three-page report into the effects of bovine tuberculosis highlighted the plight of farmers whose livelihoods are being blighted by the disease.
Alistair’s piece detailed the human, animal and environmental cost of a livestock disease that many people, including politicians, would prefer to ignore, noted the judges. They added: “The focus on key farming concerns, the lucid writing style and the empathy with the publication’s target audience make it a more than worthy winner of the Environment section of the Guild’s Yara Awards.”
In the Grassland & Livestock category, the judges were impressed by the runner-up article on Bluetongue by Farmers Weekly livestock editor Jonathan Long, which was described as giving practical advice and a clear appraisal of the wider picture.
But an article on the use of video imaging for animal carcass analysis, by Howard Walsh, Farmers Guardian business editor, was declared the winner.
The judges citation reads: “This was an incredibly thorough story that included a wide range of industry views. It covered all the pros and cons and came to a very balanced conclusion. We were impressed with the way a complex and not particularly glamorous topic was handled and by the way the article kept the reader’s interest right the way through.”
The judges’ commented that they were hugely impressed by the standard of entries in this year’s Arable category is a great reflection on all Guild members working in this area.
“The quality of writing was excellent, and the articles all made for extremely interesting reading,” they said. “But two contributions did stand out.”
An article by Tom Allen-Stevens in Farmers Weekly on how individual farmers had pioneered ways to overcome soil-related problems was picked by the judges as the runner-up entry for both the high standard of information provided and the clear way in which it was presented.
However, the winning article, by freelance Peter Hill and published in Crops magazine, summarised the fuel-saving technology shown by tractor and implement manufacturers at this year’s Cereals Event.
The judges’ citation states: “With fuel prices hitting dizzy heights earlier this summer, the author could not have selected a more topical subject – and one that affects all UK farming businesses, big and small.
“What was particularly impressive was how a vast amount of technical information from a number of different sources was drawn together into a single, easy-to-follow feature.”
Read Peter’s article from Crops here: