British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - July 2014

Congress publications appeal

With just 40 days to go before 200 international delegates arrive in Britain for IFAJ Congress 2014, the organisers are in need of some last minute help putting together the Congress tour guides and Innovations brochure. Final copy needs writing and help is needed to put the publications together. This is a unique opportunity to highlight British food and farming and the excellence of British agricultural journalism. Your help would be much appreciated – contact Cedric Porter on 01892 543444, mobile 07881 956446 or by email.

Post-Congress tour – places available

A number of special British Guild member packages are now available to take part in the programme arranged for IFAJ Congress 2014 delegates staying on to learn about farming and rural enterprise in the Midlands and Wales.

The two-day option for September 9/10 costs £250 (including accommodation and all meals) to visit Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, the Duchy Home Farm at Tetbury, Glos and an overnight stay in Ludlow, then a farm hydro power scheme before heading into Wales to cover upland farming support, sheep production on grass and sheep genomic DNA technologies. The tour rounds off with a Welsh Fest food and music evening.

For another £140, add the cultural programme in Stratford-upon-Avon on Thursday, September 11, including dinner with the international journalist and broadcaster delegates from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Northern Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre restaurant overlooking the River Avon after a behind-the-scenes tour.

See the full programme details here or contact Post-Congress chairman Liz Snaith for more info and to make a reservation: 01743 344986 / 07974 678833 or email.

Guild’s Yara journalism awards launched

Long-standing Guild sponsor and supporter Yara has mailed out the rules and entry form for its 2014 journalism awards; they are also available to download in PDF form on the Guild website here. Members of the Guild can enter written and broadcast material published in the 12 months from July 1, 2013 appropriate to any of three categories – Arable Crops, Grassland / Livestock and Environment / Rural Affairs. Friday, August 29 is the entry deadline.

Guild NOAH awards presented

Congratulations to the winners of the Guild’s animal health and welfare journalism awards for material published in 2013, presented by sponsor NOAH at the organisation’s annual dinner in London. Use the link to see who won!

Meet the Editor

All Members and Friends of the Guild are welcome to a Meet the Editor event with Emma Penny of Farmers Guardian on Monday, August 18 at the AHDB’s headquarters, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. Organised as part of the Midlands Group programme, the event will discuss the title’s progress since its purchase by Briefing Media, and its current focus and future plans in print and on line.

Briefing Media directors Rory Brown and Neil Thackray will also be present to review the company’s activities, its focus on agricultural information and media strategy, and how publishing now integrates with exhibition ownership, conferences and awards. Reserve a place by contacting Midlands branch secretary Liz Snaith.

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.

Suffolk-based communications agency Kendalls, specialising in food, agriculture and the countryside, wants to appoint a writer or journalist as a PR account manager. More info 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.

Publication of the 2014/15 Year Book has been deferred this year until after the IFAJ 2014 Congress in September. Members and Friends should continue to notify the Guild secretary of any changes (eg home or business address, telephone numbers and email address) needed for the next edition.

Gemma Mackenzie has been confirmed as successor to the late Joe Watson as Farming Editor on Aberdeen-based The Press & Journal. She was recruited as energy reporter but thanks to her practical farming and journalism experience has been filling in since Joe’s untimely death earlier this year. Gemma asks for press releases and information to be addressed to her Press & Journal or PJ Farming email addresses.

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 is available to download. Anyone involved in agriculture who would like to establish or maintain links with the Guild and its Members 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:

Rob Bryce, Communications Director, Blue Stone Film Productions Ltd, Westhill Business Centre, Arnhall Drive, Westhill, Aberdeen AB32 6UF. Mobile: 07802 936807 Email:

Rebecca Dawson, Senior Account Manager, Ware Anthony Rust, 1 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 8BB. Tel: 01223 272800 Mobile: 07584 216629 Email:

Richard Hodgson, freelance photographer, 14 Willow Dene, Broadwath, Heads Nook, Brampton, Cumbria CA8 9BB. Mobile: 077992 68775 Email:

Catherine Hughes, 4 Bridge Street, Hay on Wye, Powys HR3 5DE. Tel: 01497 822952. Mobile: 07815 103855 Email:

On the Guild website….

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

In News on the Guild website

Sarah Palmer's new role and Foundation work

Guild represented at Prince's fund event

Philip's fast London run for RABI

Success in Guild photography awards

NSA's Caitlin proud to be working in farming

Potato Council comms chief chips into the Guild

Trevor Hayes back in the Guild fold

Plant Impact's Stefanie signs up

Young journalists sought for EU trip and contest

Holstein-Friesian editorial win for mooandbaa agency

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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