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BGAJ eAlert - August 2012

Netherthorpe Award deadline – August 17

Nominations for the Guild’s prestigious Netherthorpe Award close on Friday this week. So if you would like to see a member recognised for making a consistently high quality contribution to agricultural communications, read how to nominate them in the Awards sections of the Guild website.

Yara Awards deadline – August 31

The Guild’s Yara Journalism Awards have been launched with a deadline for entries at the end of this month. There are three categories for material published or broadcast during the 12 months to June 30 this year. Entries or nominations should be made using the form that can be downloaded here.

Royal Highland Show

Was it the food or good company that drew members to the Guild reception at the Royal Highland Show? Perhaps it was both - or maybe just a welcome relief from the driving rain! Either way, it was a popular event with all concerned as a report in the Events section of the Guild website explains.

Royal Welsh Show

Guild Council member Mike Donovan made persistent efforts over several months to secure a venue from the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society for the Guild’s first reception at the Royal Welsh Show. But it was only the last minute availability of a room on the stand of sponsor NFU Mutual that allowed the event to go ahead – and it turned out to be more popular than expected.  Read a report here.

IFAJ Congress 2012

Several Guild members are heading to Sweden this week for the international congress, including chairman Adrian Bell, deputy chairman Jane Craigie, treasurer Tim Price and freelance Ali Lea, who lives in South Africa. They will attend the meetings, seminars and visits to farms and other rural enterprises that make up the congress programme, while also picking up tips for how best to present IFAJ Congress 2014 when it comes to Britain.

Top posts in the IFAJ management team will be elected from among candidates from Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Finland and Northern Ireland - see IFAJ News, August 2012. In the July edition, Mike Wilson, excutive editor of Farm Futures magazine, reflects on his 12 years as president of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and the initiatives the organisation has introduced in that time.

Ben Briggs joins management council

The management Council of the Guild, elected to represent members’ interests, organise events and manage Guild affairs in general, has co-opted Ben Briggs, Farmers Guardian news editor, to fill a vacancy. Ben is due to attend his first Council meeting in September; there are usually four or five each year in a committee room generously provided by The Farmers Club.

Perkins award surprise

Winners of the Guild’s Power on the Farm journalism award had an extra treat waiting for them when they collected their prizes from sponsor Perkins Engines Company Ltd. To find out what it was – and who won – visit the Awards section of the Guild website.

Harvest Service reading

Guild members who would like to make a personal contribution to the Guild’s popular Harvest Service are being invited by event organiser and choir sponsor Howard Venters of Shepherd Publishing to compose a reading for the service. Freelance Claire Powell took up the offer last year – read her submission here.

"I think it was a really nice touch to have this personal contribution to the service from a Guild member and I’d like to repeat it," says Howard. “I’d also be delighted if the member who composes the chosen reading would also deliver it on the day, but that’s not a condition for sending one in.”

The service is being held at St Brides Church, Fleet Street, London on Thursday, October 11starting promptly at 11am. It will be followed by the annual Harvest Lunch – arrangements for booking tickets for this event will be published soon.


Helen Brothwell, Knowledge Transfer communications manager at BPEX, the pig industry support and promotional body, has become chair of the Under 35s membership group. Members and Friends of the Guild aged 35 years or less can join a dedicated Facebook group to exchange ideas and views or discuss topics of the day by contacting administrator Clemmie Gleeson.

Jobs & Recruitment

Vacant positions are mentioned in Guild eAlerts as a service to members but a recruitment advertising service is also available to organisations that wish to put full details about a post in front of the Guild's 450 members involved in journalism and commercial communications. More details about this service are available on the website here.

The Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) wishes to appoint a Communications Officer at DairyCo. The role will involve ensuring that publicity and communication needs are fully met across a range of campaigns to support delivery; writing press releases and internal communications; and maintaining websites. Applications close August 22 .

The Glos-based food and farming agency run by Guild member Angus Chalmers – RDP Advertising & Marketing – wants to recruit a proven account manager with digital communications experience.

Norwich-based agricultural co-operative buying group, Anglia Farmers (AF), is still looking to appoint a full-time editor/journalist to help inform its members. See ad distributed with the May eAlert.

Looking for succesful rural businesses

Guild members who know of small rural businesses that are successfully riding out the current economic storm are urged to assist the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) in a project to report on the success of rural micro-businesses in a time of recession.

The report will identify critical success factors that have enabled some very small businesses in rural locations to survive and thrive over the past four years of economic difficulties and use case studies as illustrations. At the end of the project, the report will be presented to Defra and other Ministers, and would make recommendations where there is a case for Government or other decision-makers to do more to help micro-businesses grow.

Guild members can send the contact details of businesses that could be considered for case studies to Peter Hill, the Guild eAlerts and Website editor. Include a PDF or online link to any articles written about the suggested businesses.

The CRC is a non-Departmental public body, funded by Defra. Its remit is to understand issues of rural disadvantage and make recommendations to Ministers. Its 2012-13 business plan can be found here.

Year Book updates

Update the Guild Year Book with the new job, location and contact details noted here, as well as any new member listings below. Earlier updates can be found in the eAlerts Archive section of the Guild website.

Chris Biddle, now freelance contributor to Turf Pro magazine and editor of Service Dealer Business Briefing, has a new office address: Room 205, The Hall, 4 New Street, Salisbury Wilts SP1 2PH. Tel: 01722 432615.

Jessica Buss, former Farmers Weekly livestock editor, has left her post as director of the British Grassland Society. She can be contacted by mobile 07929 044564 or email:

Jennifer Forrester has moved from the AHDB’s HGCA arm to join the farm-based dairy business Xcel Milk Nutrition, Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshbire DE12 8LP to manage development, sales and marketing of milk-based sports drinks. Tel: 01283 711 926 / 07841 801021 Email:

Brian Lovelidge, freelance specialising in fresh produce, has a new email address:

Gemma Mackenzie is moving from livestock to business on Farmers Weekly and is being replaced by Rhian Price, who has been working on Poultry World. As advertised through the Guild Job eAlert, Poultry World editor Philip Clarke, wants to recruit a new poultry reporter.

Laura Temple has moved from her communications role at HGCA to become a trainee farm business manager in Scotland with Openfield, South Quay, Montrose DD10 9SL. Tel: 08456 077014 Mobile: 07774 797905 Email:

New members

Members who would like to invite colleagues and industry contacts to consider joining the Guild can download a 'benefits of membership' leaflet and also an application form at the bottom of the page here. Alternatively, contact membership secretary Liz Snaith. 

What's on the Guild website?

New pages have been added to the International section giving details of the IFAJ World Congress 2014, which is being hosted by the British Guild, and the European Network of Agricultural Journalists.

On the website News pages ……

Growing readership for Farm North-East Liz Snaith's surprise encounter in Hyde Park John Eveson image brings people together Milk role for Jenny Forrester Peter Bullen completes another marathon LAMMA show acquired by Briefing Media Guild photographers launch RABI calendar Online award for FG's talent contest New member: Will Frazer Changes for machinery dealer and turfcare magazines

Send in your news

Please send any career news, publication/website launches or redesigns, agency appointments, award wins and campaigns, etc, to website and eAlerts editor Peter Hill.


Johann Tasker

01206 263807


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