British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert: August 2017

Harvest Lunch tickets selling out fast

Guild Members and Friends who haven't already done so are urged to reserve their places at this year's Harvest Lunch.

Held at Painters' Hall, London, the Guild's flagship annual event takes place on Thursday, 12 October, and will be preceded by a Harvest Service at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street.

Thanks to extremely generous support from our 2017 sponsors, fewer than 25 tickets – all at very attractice prices – remain available.

For the third year running, food supply chain group ABP is this year’s lead sponsor – financially and also in-kind. The meat served at the lunch will be supplied by ABP.

ABP is joined as sponsors, for the first time, by speciality fertiliser business ICL which is supporting the renowned St Bride's choir during the church service. ICL is also sponsoring the drinks reception preceding the luncheon.

Agricultural insurer NFU Mutual is kindly sponsoring the lunch venue, with agrochemical distribution firm Hutchinsons generously sponsoring the wine. Animal nutrition business Alltech is sponsoring the church.

A great networking opportunity and chance to catch up with friends old and new, full details about the Harvest Service and Lunch are available here.

Tickets cost £52 for BGAJ Members and Friends, and £72 for non-members. This promises to be an excellent event as always – to secure your place, contact Guild Secretary Nikki Robertson at


Adam Henson presents 2017 Perkins Award

BBC Countryfile farmer Adam Henson presented the 2017 BGAJ Perkins Power on the Farm Award to Guild Members during a special day in London.

For the first time in the award’s 45-year history, first prize went to a joint entry. The winners were Farmers Weekly machinery editor Oli Mark and freelance James Andrews for an article comparing vehicle guidance systems.

Runner-up was Crop Production Magazine (CPM) editor Tom Allen-Stevens, with an in-depth article looking at the use of cover crops in an arable rotation.

Two further prizes were awarded – to freelance Paul Spackman for an article about drones, published in Crops magazine; and to machinery freelance Peter Hill for an article on traction tyre technology, published in Tillage magazine.

A full write-up about the award, including copies of the winning articles, is available online here.


Study trip sparks love affair with Romania

BGAJ Member Jeremy Hobson had a fantastic time during this summer's ENAJ study trip to Romania on 19-25 June 2017.

Despite having been a member of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists for almost a decade, this was the first time Jeremy had attended a BGAJ affiliated study trip abroad.

He writes passionately about his new-found love for Romania and the Romanian Agricultural Press Association (APAR) in a special article written for the Guild website here.


Deadlines draw near for Guild awards

The closing dates loom for a number of Guild awards over the coming weeks. Guild awards are always well supported – by entrants and sponsors – and contenders are advised to submit entries in good time.

Deadlines and links to entry details are as follows:


Sponsors unveiled for Harvest Service & Lunch

The Guild is delighted to welcome five major agri-businesses as sponsors of this year’s Harvest Service and Lunch. Read more... 


Hornbeam agency grows with new consultant

Guild Chaplain and communications specialist Geoff Dodgson has been appointed as a consultant, on a non-executive basis, to the marketing agency Hornbeam. Read more...


Expert insight into UK agriculture post-Brexit

Industry experts at a recent Guild meeting discussed their role in pressing the government for a fair post-Brexit deal for UK agriculture, writes Sarah Palmer. Read more... 

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Charitable Trust prize draw

The Charitable Trust set up to help Members young and old when they face a period of financial or other difficulty continues to build its capital reserves but, with investment returns still being at modest levels, the fund could always do with more contributions.

The 200 Club is one way of painlessly supporting the work of the Trustees - who provide practical help as well as cash when appropriate; shares are only £10 a year for a chance to win a cash prize twice a year. In the last draw, announced at the annual meeting, Jane Craigie and John Kenyoneach won £50, Louise Impey netted £100 and Teresa Wickham took the top prize of £250.

Read more about the Trust towards the foot of this eAlert or visit the web page.

New Members and Friends

To invite colleagues and industry contacts to consider joining the Guild, point them to the website page here, where the benefits are set out and a leaflet is available to download. There is also a link to online membership application and subscription Direct Debit forms. Subscription rates for 2016 are unchanged from last year at £72 for Members and Friends, £36 for Retired Members and Student Friends.

The Guild is delighted to welcome the following new Members:

Camilla Hayselden-Ashby, Product & Marketing Manager, fieldmargin, 20 Jerusalem Passage, London, EC1V 4JP. Mobile: 07810 683589 Email: Website:

Role at Work: Managing the development and marketing (including PR) of a farming technology start-up. Interested in ag-tech, data and apps, precision farming and drones. Why I wanted to join: To extend my network of contacts in agricultural journalism and associated industries. Nominated by Steve Mitchell.

Duncan Murray-Clarke, Publisher, Service Dealer, The Ad Plain, Pipe House, Lupton Road, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 9BS. Tel: 01491 837117 Email: Website:

Role at Work: I own and publish the leading agricultural and groundcare machinery trade publication (Service Dealer) as well as Turfpro, which reaches the professional groundcare industry. Why I wanted to join: To meet writers and journalists in the agricultural sector with a view to increasing knowledge, networking and commissioning articles for the magazines. Nominated by Jane Craigie.

Jobs & Recruitment

Vacant positions are mentioned in Guild eAlerts as a service to members but a recruitment advertising service is also available to organisations keen to attract talent from among the ranks of the Guild membership involved in journalism and commercial communications. More details about this service are available on the website or can be obtained by contacting Peter Hill.

Find details of all posts here.

Member contacts update

Updates on new jobs, locations and contact details can be found in the eAlerts Archive section of the Guild website, accessed via the Member Communications tab.

Members and Friends of the Guild - update your membership profiles on the Guild website with any changes of address or telephone number, or about any services you provide. This will ensure that information displayed on the Farming Media Centre web page and in the next edition of the Yearbook is accurate and up to date. If you have not previously logged in to the website, follow the instructions available here.

On the Guild website…

The Dates & Deadlines panel on the home page gives Guild event details and award application deadlines, as well as access to the full listing of Guild activities through the year.

On the Guild Facebook page....

The Guild Facebook page includes updates and photos of interest to Guild Members, including Guild-related news from other websites. To take a look, visit

BGAJ Charitable Trust

What the trust can do for you – or someone you know

The Guild’s Charitable Trust was set up to help Members of the Guild – of any age – and their partners and families when faced with difficulties or hardship.

The Trustees offer confidential practical support and advice, and have funds available to meet short-term needs (such as urgent utility bills in times of financial difficulty) or to help enhance standards of care and treatment in times of ill health or old age.

Members of the Guild who think the trust could help – or who know of fellow Members who could benefit – should contact the chairman of Trustees, Stephen Howe on 01342 893018 or email.

What you can do for the trust

The financial help that Trustees can offer is determined by annual income from investments, donations and fund-raising initiatives such as the Harvest Lunch prize draw. The 200 Club is an easy and painless way to make an annual donation: shares are just £10 each and subscribers have two chances a year to win up to £250 in cash prizes.

Members and Friends who take part in a charitable fund-raising event – please consider donating some of the funds you raise to your own Charitable Trust; and be sure to let us know what you’re doing so we can encourage support for your efforts from among the Guild membership.

More information on all aspects of the Charitable Trust is available on the Guild website.

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 Johann Tasker.


Contact Guild secretary Nikki Robertson if you wish to: Apply for Retired Member status to pay the reduced subscription Apply to become a Member of the Guild as a Friend who now qualifies for membership Notify a change of bank details for the subscription Direct Debit Notify a change of home or work postal address, telephone numbers or email address Notify that you are resigning from the Guild


Johann Tasker

01206 263807


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