British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - July 2015

Farming Media Centre

Guild Members and Friends are encouraged to ensure their entries are up to date in the Farming Media Centre, which is now live on the Guild website.

The Farming Media Centre provides a means for anyone to search for and contact a journalist, photographer, PR specialist or publisher associated with the Guild, or to find magazines, newspapers amd websites covering agriculture, commercial horticulture and other rural topics.

To login and check your credentials, visit: Enter your business email address and click 'Continue'. This will generate an email message containing a one-time login link that will expire after 24 hours.

If the email address you enter is not recognised, please email Peter Hill, who can check which address has been allocated to you in the database.

Further details are available in a special eAlert about the Farming Media Centre.

Awards & Scholarships

Perkins Global Innovation Scholarship

The Guild is pleased and honoured to announce the launch of the Perkins Global Innovation Scholarship - worth £5,000 in international travel and accommodation.

Following the highly successful international journalists' Congress hosted by the British Guild last year, the Perkins Engines Company is committed to continuing its support of the British Guild.

The aim of the Perkins Global Innovation Scholarship is to support international travel and professional development opportunities for Guild members.

The Perkins Global Innovation Scholarship is open to both journalists and communicators. The focus of the trips will be on farming innovation in Latin America, China and India.

The closing date for applications in 30 October. For full details, click here.

Guild Awards

Entries and nominations will open soon for the Yara Awards, Keenan Innovation Award and the Netherthorpe Award. Members are urged to keep an eye on the Guild website for further details. Separate eAlerts will be sent out when each award opens.

Guild Harvest Service and Luncheon

Guild Members and Friends are reminded that this year's Guild Harvest Service and Luncheon will take place on Thursday, 8 October.

The Traditional Harvest Service will begin at 11am at St Brides Church, Fleet Street. It will be followed by a Drinks Reception starting at approximately 12 noon with a Harvest Luncheon at Stationers Hall, City of London.

This event will include Presentation of the Guild's prestigious Netherthorpe Communicator of the Year Award, the annual Yara Journalism Awards (Arable, Grassland/Livestock and Environment) and the Richard Keenan Innovation in Agriculture Journalism Award.

It will also include Guild Charitable Trust prize draw and auction. Further details will be sent in a separate eAlert later this summer but for now, please put the date in  your diary.

Charitable Trust raffle and auction prizes

The Guild Charitable Trust is appealing for Members and Friends to donate raffle prizes for the AGM/Harvest Lunch in October.

The Guild’s Trust particularly welcomes “tokens or vouchers ” for events/prizes so that they can be handed out on the day or sent easily to the winners after the draw. Once again Tony Collier has kindly agreed co-ordinate.

"Any offers of prizes would be a great help," says Tony, who can be contacted on (01869) 338 635 or at

"Bear in mind that we look for vouchers or other easily carried prizes to avoid people having to struggle home with heavy items such as cases of wine!"

Sadly, there will be no Wimbledon auction this year - Grieve Carson who has helped to raise £000s for the Trust by providing two tickets for auction over many years, will be unable to do so for 2016.

So maybe there is someone else out there who might have something equally worthy of an auction (as opposed to raffle) prize?

Members and Friends of the Guild can also make a valuable contribution to the Charitable Trust by purchasing prize draw tickets issued ahead of the Harvest Lunch in October - as well as selling them to friends and work colleagues.

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 members involved in journalism and commercial communications. More details about this service are available on the website or contact Peter Hill at

Agrochemicals manufacturer Dow AgroSciences wants to appoint a marketing communications manager to promote its products by developing a digital communications strategy to complement traditional advertising, PR, technical support and presence at industry shows and events.

Farmers Weekly is looking for an editorial projects manager to help develop its creative solutions business. It is also recruiting a Business Reporter, preferably with a farming background or an agricultural qualification.

European Network of Agricultural Journalists

Members with a keen interest in farming across Europe and the role of the agriculture directorate in Brussels can receive ENAJ news and notices direct by registering for its newsletter

The ENAJ has received three separate event invites exclusive for ENAJ Guild members in Austria and Italy in September and November.

First, our friends in the Italian Guild have put together an exciting programme which will run from 21-25 September. Interested members should make direct contact with the organisers through lisa.bellocchi@gmail.comThe cost is flights plus €200 to cover all other expenses. Places are limited so Members should apply quickly to avoid disappointment.

Secondly, for the second year in a row, Greenaccord XII international media forum has invited the ENAJ to nominate a member from each guild to attend its annual conference in Rieti, Italy from 18-21 November. The organisers will pay the full cost of flights and accommodation.

The organisers have also reserved 10 places for young journalists under the age of 30. These places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you would like to go on this second trip, please contact Adrian Bell by Monday 27 July so the British Guild can choose its nominated Member in good time for the closing date of 31 July.

Thirdly, the Austrian Guild has issued an invitation to ENAJ members to join a Low Budget Trip to Austria. The trip will take place 3-5 September 2015 in Tyrol in the Alps, with the theme Agriculture in Mountain Areas – Challenge and Chance”.

Visitors will see how Austria handles its small-structured agriculture in less-favoured regions, including farms with just a few cows, but a lot of passion for farming. Applications for a place should be sent directly to the Austrian Guild.

International Federation of Agricultural Journalists

Revised Constitution

The IFAJ is in the process of revising its Constitution. The goal is to make the Constitution clearer and easier to read, and to align it with the IFAJ's strategic plan and several new policies and procedures that have evolved since the last time the document was updated. 

The most significant change is the true recognition of the importance of ‘press freedom’, as defined by the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, coupled with a long-overdue recognition that journalists working in countries where such freedoms are questionable or non-existent should not be denied the opportunities that exist through membership of, and cooperation with, IFAJ.

Members will find sections that allow the IFAJ to extend its activities with colleagues around the world, and a new "affiliate member" category that would allow the participation in IFAJ activities of Guilds from countries that until now have not been eligible for membership.

There are also new procedures for the election of officers, which reflect the rules approved by the Delegate Assembly in Argentina.

It also properly reflects the ambitions of the IFAJ’s Strategic Plan, which should now finally see proper progress and delivery.

Changes in this draft document were approved by the Executive in Berlin in January, and reflect several years of great work, reflection and discussion by the members of the Executive and other volunteers from throughout IFAJ. Red type makes the new portions easy to find; portions in green reflect changes agreed upon at the January Executive meeting.

Guild Members with comments or suggested changes to the draft document should email Adrian Bell. Comments must be received before 1 September so they can be put on the agenda for the IFAJ Delegate Assembly in October.

Year Book updates

Guild Year Book updates, including changes in jobs, location and contact details are noted below, as well as any new Member and Friend listings. Earlier updates can be found in the eAlerts Archive section 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 but 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.

Guild Member Melanie Jenkins, has joined Agri-hub, the Devon-based agricultural media service. Melanie is a full-time editorial and PR assistant to the freelancers who form the Agri-hub team, led by Olivia Cooper, also a Guild Member.

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: 

Sophie Moate, Consultant, Powerscourt, 1 Tudor Street, London EC4Y 0AH. Tel: 0207 549 0994 Mobile: 07761 974589 Email: 

Nélia Silva, Spain/Portugal Correspondent, Supply Intelligence Ltd, The Wing, Ferndale House, 3 Ferndale, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 3RL. Tel: 00 351 9669 21904 Mobile: 00 351 9669 21904 Email: 

Sarah Tempest, Account Manager, RDP Advertising & Marketing Ltd, Unit 3 Highnam Business Centre, Newent Road, Gloucester GL2 8DN. Tel: 01452 429170 Mobile: 07711 377470 Email: 

Emma Walker, Account Manager,, The Farmhouse, Fern Hill Court, 4 Balsall Street East, Coventry, West Midlands CV7 7FR. Tel: 01608 637807 Mobile: 07875 050368 Email:

and the following new Friend:

Philippa Wiltshire, Communication & Management Information Manager, Red Tractor Assurance, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwicks CV8 2TL. Tel/Mobile: 07786 074927 Email:

 ….we also say farewell to

Jessica Sloss, who has taken up a different role at Red Tractor Assurance, and Philippa Spackman who has left the communications role at RABI.

Congratulations to...

Congratulations to Peter Hill, who has been made a Fellow of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists (FGAJ), in recognition of all his ongoing hard work and dedication to guild matters, including his work on the Guild website and the establishment of the Farming Media Centre.

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.

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 at

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.

News 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 at


Contact Guild secretary Nikki Robertson at 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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