British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert June 2014

IFAJ Congress 2014 - new options for Guild members

New options are available for Guild members wanting to experience the IFAJ Congress in September but unable to commit to the full programme. With registration closing this Sunday, July 6, Members and Friends of the Guild can now book one of several 'taster' options taking in the weekend tours and social events.

"We do have some places available for the full Congress with a choice of accommodation, so members can still join the British and International delegates already registered to take part in the entire event," says Adrian Bell, Congress chairman. "But the special packages will enable many more to come and meet their fellow journalists from overseas and report on - or just learn about - different aspects of agriculture in north-east Scotland."

The full Congress runs from September 4-8 with the all-inclusive tours duplicated on the Saturday and Sunday, so members taking up a special weekend package can participate (subject to availability) in two of the following:

Arable & Whisky Vegetables, Specialist Crops & Fruit Beef & Red Meat Field Crops & Potatoes Diversification, Forestry & Renewables

The tours, which depart at 6.15am and return approximately 5.30pm, include meals and transport by coach, and the special Guild member packages are based on accommodation at SRUC Craibstone, a few minutes shuttle bus ride from the Congress hotels at Aberdeen airport.

They start at just £90 for a one-night stay participating in either the Saturday or Sunday tours, and from £140 for a one-night Saturday and Sunday option. Staying over on the Friday night takes the fee to £220.

In addition, members can also book a place at one of the popular social events:

Saturday night four-course Taste of Grampian Dinner and Ceilidh dance

Sunday night Gala Dinner and live performance by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers

Georgina Haigh of Farmers Guardian and Leo Townsend, HGCA communications, are taking advantage of the three-night, two-day option. Leo says: "It's a one-off opportunity to find out more about farming across the world from the people who spend their time researching, thinking and writing about agriculture. I’m sure it will inspire and provide contacts to help me push on in my own career. On top of all that, it gives me a great reason to brush up on my Russian and Spanish!”

Remember, registrations close on Sunday, July 6.

Livestock Event reception

The regular get-together at this week's Livestock Event for Members and Friends of the Guild will be held on the first evening (Wednesday, July 2) at 5pm in the Media Centre thanks to the RABDF. Canapés, English wine and English cheeses will be served, generously sponsored by NFU Mutual thanks to communications executive and Guild member Tim Price.

Apart from being a great opportunity to catch up with journalist and PR friends, the reception will see the presentation of the Guild's Livestock category photography awards by sponsor Jonathan Guy of Guy Animal Health.

Organiser Liz Snaith, press officer to the RABDF, looks forward to welcoming Members and Friends, who may bring one guest as a potential new member. She emphasises that media passes for the Livestock Event can only be obtained via the event website and an individual pass is required for each of the two days.

Cereals Event awards presented

Despite being in a new venue, the turn-out for the Guild's annual Cereals Event reception was as enthusiastic as ever as Members and Friends enjoyed beer courtesy of Limagrain, pulse snacks from BEPA-PGRO, and strawberries and cream laid on by Gleadell at the Inspire agri industry careers pavilion, plus excellent bangers and soft drinks paid for out of Guild funds.

Awards for the Arable category of the photography competition sponsored by Du Pont were presented and winners of the Guild's IAgrE 'Engineering in Land-Based Industries' journalism awards announced - use the links to find out who won!

Free press registration for Alltech event

IFAJ sponsor Alltech is staging its annual Global Dairy & Beef event in Europe this year and offers free press registration for accredited Members of the Guild. The forum brings together some of the most progressive dairy and beef producers from around the world to enable them to network, share experiences and discuss plans for the year ahead. It’s being held from August 30 to September 2 in Deauville, Normandy at the heart of the French ruminant industry. Find more details and ask for an invitation here using the code Global14FR. Contact Ann Hess (00 1 859-537-7911), Alltech's North America Field PR Manager, with any press participation queries.

Press tour - agriculture in Ukraine

Travel company RealTOURS is organising an expenses-paid visit to Ukraine for agricultural journalists and international tour operators in October. The initial proposed itinerary - covers northern and western areas of the country. Contact the organiser direct.

Nominations for prestigious award

A form is now available to download from the website for Members to make a compelling case for a fellow Member being the recipient of the prestigious Netherthorpe Award at the Guild Harvest Lunch in October. The magnificent crowing cockerely bronze trophy - on permanent display in The Farmers Club - is awarded to Members who are judged to have made a sustained and high quality contribution to 'agricultural communications' in the widest sense.

The award, which is open to journalists and professional communicators, has in recent years been received by Ken Fletcher, The Scottish Farmer; David Cousins, Farmers Weekly; Andrew Arbuckle, for his freelance and columnist roles; Howard Walsh, Farmers Guardian; and PR specialist Ross Muir. Nominations for the 2014 award close at the end of August.

New agri journalists' organisation in Romania

A new national association for agricultural journalists in Romania has the aim of supporting members in their profession and contributing to their development and training. The Agricultural Press Association in Romania (APAR) will also help members strengthen their relations with Romanian and European institutions, as well as with similar associations in Europe such as the British Guild. The new organisation has been welcomed by the European Network of Agricultural Journalists - see the ENAJ website for the full story.

IFAJ press card applications and renewals

The Guild no longer issues membership cards but journalists and photographers needing identification as a media representative can apply for an IFAJ Press Card issued by IFAJ (International Federation of Agricultural Journalists), which is recognised by agricultural institutes, governments, ministries, exhibitions, fairs and events all over the world. To apply for a new card or to renew an existing one using the existing IFAJ membership number contact Guild secretary Nikki Robertson.

Young journalists prize launched

Journalist members of the Guild aged 35 years or less at the end of this year get the chance to participate in all expenses-paid press facility trips organised by the European Commission's DG-Agri next year by writing an award-winning article on young farmers in European agriculture. The article should be published between January and the end of September this year and be no more than 800 words - longer published articles can be trimmed to this limit.

The winner will be invited on DG-Agri press trips covering different aspects of agriculture in Europe and, together with two runners-up, will be invited to the annual networking event in Brussels early next year. Get a flavour of what other Guild members have got out of these events by visiting the ENAJ page on the Guild website. Full details of the contest are on the ENAJ website; entries to Ben Briggs, Guild member representative on Council with a special interest in U35 activities.

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.

Heather Dale is in need of some PR to promote the employment matching website she is setting up. It's for people with skills in agriculture with a particular focus on overseas posts for people who want to improve their skills and career prospects by working abroad. Heather needs advice on the most cost-effective way of reaching the farming press in the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. She can be contacted by email.

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.

The final digit of Rosie Carne's office telephone number at Yara UK is incorrect in the current Year Book. The correct number is: 01472 889306

Agricultural supply chain specialist Cedric Porter has moved, although he remains in Kent. His home and business address for Supply Intelligence Ltd is now 30 Culverden Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9QR. Email and telephone numbers are unaffected.

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.

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

Richard Shepherd-Barron's organic outing

Reporting on BBC's performance on rural affairs

Interest in agri social media continues to grow

Charity event in Joe Watson's memory

Poultry World celebrates 140th anniversary

Michael Pollitt stepping down from EDP


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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