British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - July 2012

Guild reception - Royal Welsh Show - Monday, July 23

The Guild's first get-together at the Royal Welsh Show is being held on the first evening of the event from 6pm to 7pm in an upstairs room on the main ring stand of sponsor NFU Mutual. Press officer and Guild member Tim Price invites all Members and Friends to attend for a hot and cold buffet - with the added attraction of "plenty of wine, beer and soft drinks".

The occasion will also mark the launch of the 2013 calendar published by the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) and sponsored by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. It features images donated by Guild member photographers, who will be joined at the launch by NFU Mutual chairman Richard Percy.

If well attended, this new event in the Guild calendar will become a regular occasion for members to socialise and relax at the start of the Royal Welsh week. Any enquiries to Tim Price.

New Guild award – deadline Tuesday, July 31

The entry deadline for the inaugural Richard Keenan Innovation Award is fast approaching – so awards secretary Louise Impey urges all journalist Members of the Guild to sift through their archives for the best articles or broadcasts reporting innovation in agriculture.

The award celebrates the achievements of the late Richard Keenan in advancing cattle feeding technology and the spirit of innovation that is evident in all sectors of farming and horticulture. There is £750 for the winner and £250 for the runner-up  for articles or broadcasts published over the 12 months up to the deadline date. Details of how to enter are here.

U35s Brussels Seminar – deadline Friday, July 27

Two young journalist members of the Guild have the opportunity to take part in a European Commission press seminar in Brussels from September 19-22. Arranged as part of the programme of events promoted through the European Network of Agricultural Journalists (ENAJ), the event should provide an insight into the workings of the European Commission’s agriculture directorate and how its press team operates, while also covering topics of current interest.

Presentations by representatives of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) and the farming union Copa/Cogeca organisation will be followed by a visit to one of Belgium’s major dairy processors.

Delegates must make their own way to Brussels but accommodation and transport will otherwise be provided. Interested U35 Guild members should set out briefly why they wish to participate in an application note to Guild chairman and ENAJ representative Adrian Bell by Friday, July 27 so that nominees can be selected prior to the event’s booking deadline.

Provisional Programme

Wednesday, September 19: Arrival of participants in the afternoon. Welcome diner by DG Agri.

Thursday, September 20: Guild member Roger Waite, spokesman of agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos, introduces experts from DG Agri. Presentations and discussions about hot topics; Jan Jakubov explains the press work of the European Parliament; visit to press facilities and discussion with press representatives.

Friday, September 21: Joris Baeke, president of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) explains goals of the organisation with focus on support for young farmers. Visit to Copa/Cocega farmers’ union organisation for presentation and discussion.

Saturday, September 22: Excursion to Belgomilk, Moorslede, part of Milcobelgroup, the biggest processor of milk and the biggest producer of cheese specialities in Belgium, with opportunities for interviews, photos and videos. Farm visit located on the battlefields of Flanders.

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 Pinstone Communications agency run by Guild member Catherine Linch and her husband Robin has two vacancies to fill – for a graduate trainee and an experienced PR professional – based in Leominster, Herefordshire.

The latter role will involve managing multiple client accounts, maintaining regular client liaison and being responsible for media relations and support marketing communications.

Pinstone also wants to take on a trainee of graduate calibre to provide PR and marketing support to clients; strong written and verbal communication skills are essential, of course.

Reporters for Poultry World and for the arable desk on Farmers WeeklyCrops and FWi are being sought by Reed Business Information.

Campaigning for rural Scotland

Guild deputy chairman and marketing communications specialist Jane Craigie was in full campaigning mode for the Go Rural! initiative at the Royal Highland Show and the main launch at Glamis Castle – see an updated report and pictures 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.

Contact details for freelance writer and broadcaster Rebecca Pow, who recently re-joined the Guild after 14 years absence, were omitted from the new Year Book. They are: Tuckers Farmhouse, Stoke St Mary, Taunton, Somerset TA3 5BY. Tel: 01823 443816 Mobile: 07900 685303 Email:

A simple but crucial error has been present in Wendy Short’s email address in the Year Book for some time; it has just been noticed that ‘associates’ is missing an ‘s’.

New members

Members who would like to invite colleagues and industry contacts to consider joining the Guild can download a 'benefits of membership' leaflet in pdf form and an application form using the links at the bottom of the Membership page of the Guild website. 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 (ENAJ).

On the website News pages ……

Emma Penny wins another top editor award New deadline for Nuffield scholarships George Macpherson's latest novel Chris McCullough heading to Kenya

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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