British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - February 2014

British Guild of Agricultural Journalists

71st Annual General Meeting

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The annual general meeting of the Guild will be held at Jesus College, Ship Street Conference Centre, Oxford (registration 3.30pm).

The meeting agenda is as follows:

  1. To review the work of the previous year (Council and Chairman’s Report)
  2. To review audited financial report (Treasurer’s Report)
  3. To elect new Council members
  4. To elect the President, Chairman and Chaplain
  5. To provide members with an opportunity to air their views on Guild policy and events
  6. To make submissions through motions to the Council

Minutes of the 2013 annual meeting

+ Motions from Members for consideration at the AGM must be received by the Guild secretary by Wednesday, March 6, 2014 (21 days before the meeting) and Members will be notified of any such motions no later than Thursday, March 13, 2014 (14 days before the meeting). Members may appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf at the annual meeting.

Nikki Robertson / General Secretary British Guild of Agricultural Journalists 444 Westwood Heath Road Coventry CV4 8AA

Tel: 07584 022909 Email:

Oxford Spring Dinner

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of AGCO's Massey Ferguson tractor and harvest machinery brand, arranged by Guild member Paul Lay, this year's annual meeting of the Guild will be followed by a drinks reception and dinner at Jesus College. This is another great opportunity for Members and Friends of the Guild to socialise and network.

The event is likely to finish between 9-9.30pm; anyone local to Oxford willing to offer a spare room for the night to a fellow Member or Friend of the Guild - please notify secretary Nikki Robertson.

Jesus College has a number of single en suite rooms available at a special rate - £75 (plus VAT), including breakfast served 8-9am. These must be booked direct with Simon Smith at the college; be sure to copy your email to Luke Bullivant ( and Yi Lic (, and quote KX20733 for the special rate.

Booking arrangements for the AGM and Oxford Spring Dinner sponsored by Massey Ferguson will be published in a dedicated eAlert - but for now make a note of this key diary date in the Guild calendar.

Stuart Seaton Award - final call

A reminder that entries to the Guild's Stuart Seaton Award for regional coverage of farming and rural issues must be with awards secretary Louise Impey by 5pm this Friday, February 28 - go here for full details. Please note that the Award eAlert went out with the incorrect email address for entries but the entry form accessible using this link has the correct address (

Pig sector study tour

The Belgian and Dutch guilds of agricultural journalists (BVLJ and NVLJ) are staging a special tour of the pig industries in their countries in conjunction with the European Network of Agricultural journalists (ENAJ). The Innovative Pig Production Tour will cover the border area of the two countries, with visits to pig farms, a feed mill and the new and innovative Feed Design Lab, a facility that focuses on development of novel food and feed.

Besides the practical side of modern pig production, the use of antibiotics and innovative pig production in a European perspective is on the agenda, together with a visit VIV Europe international pig and poultry exhibition in Utrecht.

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.

Independent advisory firm RMI Analytics wants to appoint a Researcher / Journalist to its business-to-business publication covering the beer raw materials market. The post, which is based in Hamburg, Germany, calls for a motivated, flexible and perceptive person to lead the editorial of an established online publication in the global brewing industry, covering the grain, malt and beer market and related issues in Europe and the rest of the World. Full details 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 and Friend listings below. Earlier updates can be found in the eAlerts Archivesection of the Guild website. Remember to send change of job, address, telephone or email details to Guild secretary Nikki Robertson.

With the communications role at ANM Group becoming part time, Bob Dow, a Member of the Guild, has moved to a new post as PR Manager with Police Scotland. He says: “I’m based in Aberdeen helping this new organisation, created from the former eight Scottish police forces, evolve. I aim to have an extensive rural brief as part of my duties and because of this – and my involvement in organising aspects of the IFAJ Congress 2014 in Scotland this year – I’m continuing my Guild membership.”

Bob’s contact details are now: Police Scotland, Queen Street, Aberdeen AB10 1ZA. Tel: 01224 306433 Mobile: 07721 444945 Email:

Livestock specialist Jeremy Hunt has moved home and is running Brimstone Consulting Ltd, covering public relations consultancy and media relations for the livestock sector and for companies and organisations involved in country sports. His new contact details are: Brimstone Consulting Ltd, Bannister Hey, May Lane, Claughton-on-Brock, Garstang, Lancashire PR3 0PD. Tel: 01995 643479 Mobile: 07798 826179 Email:

Former NFU communications and parliamentary adviser Will Surman moved to another Brussels-based job at the beginning of this year. He is now Communications Manager at CropLife International, the Global federation representing the plant science industry. His contact details are now: CropLife International AISBL, 326 avenue Louise, box 35, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Tel +32 2 542 04 10 Email:

Will says of his new role: “It’s an exciting job as we cover everything from the latest advancement in biotechnology, to specific projects that help African farmers tackle pests and disease that can ruin their livelihoods. Brussels is a great place to be. It has become home to many international organisations and NGOs and as such is a hotbed of politics and discussion on global agricultural issues. And when I am not working, the city is packed full of quirky bars and cafes to sit back and drink a coffee or, if I’m lucky, a delicious Belgian beer.”

New Members and Friends

Members who would like to invite colleagues and industry contacts to consider joining the Guild can direct them to the Membership Benefits website page here, where a PDF leaflet and an application form can be downloaded. People involved in the agricultural industry who would like to establish or maintain links with the Guild and its Members but do not qualify for membership themselves can become a Friend to receive eAlerts, attend events and be listed in the Year Book.

The Guild is delighted to welcome the following new Members…..

Jim Davies, Communications Manager, Potato Council, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwicks CV8 2TL. Tel: 02476 478786 Mobile: 07581 628819 Email:

Lauren Goringe, Account Manager, Reverberate PR, Halfstone, Smeathorpe, Honiton, Devon EX14 9RF. Tel: 01823 602806 Mobile: 07585 696566 Email:

Shelly Hampshire, Press and Publicity Officer, Royal Agricultural University, Stroud Road, Cirencester, Glos GL7 6JS. Tel: 01285 652531 Mobile: 07527 421705 Email:

Sarah Peacocke, Marketing Manager (Cereals Event and Fruit Focus), Haymarket Exhibitions, Wroxten Business Centre, Bragborough Farm, Welton Road, Braunston, Daventry, Northants NN11 7JG. Tel: 01788 892039 Mobile: 07880 053117 Fax: 01788 892038 Email:

Eleanor Perkins, Communications Executive, HGCA-AHDB, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwicks CV8 2TL. Tel: 02476 478753 Mobile: 07792 404229 Email:

Mark Sanderson, TOP PR Ltd, The Barn, Spring Lane, Burghclere, Newbury, Berks RG20 9NE. Tel:  01635 278236 Mobile: 07775 681818 Email:

However, we also say goodbye to former Frontier PR and marketing manager Debbie Mather, who has been appointed group communications manager at 2 Sisters Food Group and is therefore not renewing her Guild membership.

On the Guild website….

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

In News on the Guild website

AgriChatUK takes to the Radio 1 airwaves

HGCA's Eleanor Perkins signs up to Guild

Georgina Haigh's interview-inspired flood aid

Andrew Arbuckle records NFUS history

FG team goes booze free to raise charity cash

Sarah back on homeground and once again a Guild Member

Chris gets close up view of Ugandan agriculture

Helpful guidance from Guild training survey

Rural marketeer Rebecca up for the challenge

Whisper's Sam signs up as a new member

Conference to focus on supply chain efficiency

The social media phenomenon in farming

New machinery magazine to launch

Final Congress plans presented in Berlin

Roscoe Howells

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.


Contact the 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

Norify 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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