British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - December 2016

Wishing all Members and Friends of the Guild a Happy and Healthy Christmas and New Year


Harvest Service & Lunch diary date

Put the date in your new 2017 diary now for the Guild's wonderful Harvest Service at St Brides Church, Fleet Street and the wonderful Harvest Lunch that follows it, which will be held at Painters Hall in London for the second time. The date - Thursday, October 12. See the Dates & Deadlines column on the website home page for dates of other regular events.

Meet the BBC Rural Affairs team in Bristol

The Midlands group of the Guild has arranged a unique opportunity - available to all Members and Friends - to meet members of the BBC’s Rural Affairs team to learn more about their reporting strategy and programme making.

The event will be hosted by the BBC rural affairs and environment editor, Dimitri Houtart, and network rural affairs correspondent Clare Marshall is scheduled to attend along with a representative from BBC Countryfile. There will also be an opportunity to visit the recording studio where the following morning’s Radio 4 Farming Today programme will be in the making.

Schedule: Thursday, January 26. 16.45 Arrive, welcome and coffee; 17.00 Visit recording studio; 17.20 Presentations, followed by Q&A. Location: BBC, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LR.

To reserve a place (£10 contribution towards costs), contact Midlands secretary Liz Snaith by Tuesday, January 10.

Guild membership subscriptions 2017

In line with agreed inflation indexing policy, the Guild management Council has approved the treasurer's recommendation for a modest increase in membership subscription rates, effective January 1, 2017.

There was no increase for 2016, so the 50p increase for 2017 is very modest indeed! The rate for Members and Friends of the Guild will be £72.50 and £36.50 for Retired Members and Student Friends.

International awards update

Details of entry procedures and dates for awards run by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists have been clarified and updated on the Awards eAlert circulated to all Members in November.

First of all, entries must have been published or broadcast in 2016; and Members wanting to enter the IFAJ/Rabobank Digital Media award must now do so via the Guild, not direct to the IFAJ.

As a consequence, the deadline for entries to the IFAJ/Rabobank Digital Media award is now earlier and along with entries for the video, radio and print awards must be submitted by Monday, January 16 to the Guild's IFAJ representative Jane Craigie.

The only competition entered direct by Members (with a deadline of Wednesday, February 1) is the Star Prize Photography award, which is now generously sponsored by John Deere in addition to the Star Prize Print award.

Freelance directory

The IFAJ website now has a new searchable directory of freelance journalists and photographers enabling commissioning editors in any other IFAJ member country to look for freelance Members of the Guild in the UK.

So far, just four Members have seen and taken advantage of this resource, providing contact details and areas of expertise. Anyone wishing to join them can do so by clicking the link here.

The Guild has its own online directory, of course. The Farming Media Centre displays basic information about each Member or Friend's professional activities and interests, with the option to also display telephone numbers and email addresses.

There is also a comprehensive directory of publications, websites and broadcast programmes covering agriculture, commercial horticulture and other rural topics.

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:

Beth Dixon, PR and Marketing Account Manager, Pinstone Communications, Unit 3, The Business Plaza, Owen Way, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 0LA Tel: 01568 617665 Email:

Haroon Jabar, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Senior Marcomms Manager, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2TL Tel: 07391 402239 Email:

Andrew Meredith, Arable Journalist, Farmers Weekly, Reed Business Information, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS Tel: 0208 652 4924 Mobile: 07717 150694 Email:

Lindsay Monaghan, Freelance Marketing/PR/Communications Adviser, 8 Priory Yard, Barnard Castle, Durham DL12 8PP. Mobile: 07917 101688 Email:

Rebecca Morgan, PR Account Manager, Pinstone Communications, Unit 3, The Business Plaza, Owen Way, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 0LA Tel: 01568 617663 Mobile: 07815 732803 Email:

Nina Pullman, Deputy Editor, Fresh Produce Journal, 132 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2LB. Tel: 0207 501 0318 Email:

Karl Schneider, Editorial Director / Editor, Farmers Weekly, Reed Business Information, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS Tel: 0208 652 3043 Mobile: 07717 342095 Email:

Charlotte (Charlie) Wilson, Account Director, RDP Advertising & Marketing Ltd, Unit 3 Highnam Business Centre, Newent Road, Gloucester GL2 8DN. Tel: 01452 429177 Mob: 07584 238401 Email:

...and also a new Friend of the Guild:

Jenni Thompson, Regional Manager (Wilts, Glos, Bucks,  Oxon), Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), Shaw House, 27 West Way, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2 0QH. Tel: 01935 826726 Email:

...but we say goodbye to Judy Thompson, who is leaving her role as press officer at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. 

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 job, location and contact details are noted below. Earlier updates can be found in the eAlerts Archive section of the Guild website accessed via the Member Communications tab.

Angharad Belcher has left PR and marketing agency RDP to join the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) based at Woodrow House, 1 Telford Way, Waterwells Business Park, Quedgeley, Gloucester, GL2 2AB. Tel: 01452 726706 Email:

Following the closure of Ware Anthony Rust, the Cambridge-based marketing and public relations agency, agricultural specialists Geoff Dodgson and Rebecca Dawson are doing their own thing:

Rebecca Dawson, Managing Director, Hornbeam, Regus House, 1010 Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge CB23 6DP. Tel: 01223 598555 Mob: 07714 103607 Email:

Geoff Dodgson, Dodgson Consultancy, 12 Cootes Lane, Fen Drayton, Cambridge CB24 4SL. Tel: 01223 272800 Mob: 07710 379561 Email:

Joanne Sharpe, former marketing and communications manager at the XLVets group, has been appointed Marketing Manager UK & Ireland at Cargill Premix & Nutrition, Dalton Industrial Estate, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 3HE. Mob: 07717 361147 Email:

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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