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Charlotte Johnston, a 20-years old Harper Adams University College student, won the 2007 award for the best student report, with William Wilson (also 20) getting the runner-up prize. They had to write a story on the aims and successes of the Guild’s young journalist training course; neither of the winning students had any practical experience of journalism before attending the course.

Guild chairman Joe Watson presented Charlotte with her winner’s cheque for £250, a framed certificate and the John Deere ‘plough’ trophy at the Royal Show awards presentation evening. William received a framed certificate and a cheque for £50.

Joe commented: “Both the winning entries stood out for me, in that they engaged me to the end. I favoured Charlotte’s piece on the basis that there was a degree of innovation, with an interesting use of the introductory quote.”

Fellow judge and course lecturer Charles Abel added: “Both articles had good, punchy starts and included well worked ideas.”

Charlotte, who comes from Cumbria, was on a placement year during her Harper Adams course in rural enterprise and land management, working as a trainee assistant land agent for Warwickshire County Council. She spent her three days’ work experience for the training course with Farmers Guardian.

William Wilson, whose family farms near Ipswich, Suffolk, had just completed his first year studying food marketing and business economics at the University of Reading. He completed his Guild course work experience with Mistral Group in the Royal Show press office.

There have been more than 500 applications for places on the 15 courses held so far, which are based on two days of lectures by experienced trainers, journalists and PR professionals, followed by three or more days of practical work experience with a range of farming and horticultural journals and communications businesses.

The 2007 work experience hosts to the 11 course members were Amateur Gardening, The British Grassland Society, Farm Business Farm LifeFarmers Guardian, Farmers Weekly Group, The GardenHorticulture Week, Mistral Group, Pitchcare and The Scottish Farmer.

The award is designed to support the Guild in one of its principal aims – promoting schemes for the provision of suitable entrants into agricultural and horticultural journalism. Since it began, 17 course members have found employment as journalists on national farming and horticultural magazines and several people newly employed in the industry have taken advantage of what the course has to offer.

Read Charlotte’s Report

Read William’s Report