British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
International Contacts, Annual Congress Tours, Professional Development, Writing & Photo Awards, Freelance Directory
Members of the Guild are also members of...

BGAJ eAlert - June 2015

Bangers 'n' Beer at Cereals 2015

Members and Friends of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists are invited to the popular Bangers ‘n’ Beer reception at Cereals.

This year's event starts at 5.30pm on Wednesday, 10 June, on stand 622 thanks to the generosity of SESVanderHave UK.

In addition to serving some welcome snacks and refreshments, including premium quality bangers, beer from Limagrain and Senova and strawberries and cream courtesy of Gleadell Agriculture, the winners of the Guild's Arable Photography Award, sponsored by Du Pont, and the Institution of Agricultural Engineers Engineering in Land-Based Industries journalist award will be revealed.

Come along and enjoy an informal wind down with friends after a busy day. Members and Friends of the Guild are welcome to bring one prospective member as a guest.

All help setting up/clearing will be greatly appreciated – contact Jamie Day at

Award deadline reminders

Entries are invited from Members for one of the Guild’s longest-running journalism awards – Power on the Farm, sponsored by Perkins Engines Company Ltd. Articles may be entered by the author or nominated by someone else and must have been published last year – between 1 January and 31 December, 2014. Entry deadline is Friday, 19 June.

Erroneous subscription collection

On 16 February this year, some Members and Friends of the Guild had £34 or £68 collected from their bank or building society accounts using the reference GO Agricultural J by the Teledebit system used until February 2013.

On the same day, a legitimate collection of £35 (Retired Member) or £72 (Member or Friend) was made by the Guild’s new SmartDebit system using the reference BGAJ SUBS.

To the best of our knowledge, all those affected received refunds in April; but if your bank account shows the £34 or £68 being collected but not refunded, please contact Peter Hill at who is now managing Guild subscriptions.

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

Monthly arable magazine CPM (Crop Production Monthly) wants to appoint a journalist with a good knowledge of arable farming to join the publication as a trainee or deputy editor – depending upon experience. The magazine is published by Guild Member Angus McKirdy and fellow Member Tom Allen-Stevens is editor.

Cambridge-based PR firm Ware Anthony Rust is recruiting a PR account manager with proven experience and abilities to join the agri/food chain team, which already includes Guild Members Geoff Dodgson and Rebecca Dawson.

Guild Members at PR agencies with the ability to handle an arable product account are invited to apply for two campaigns planned by Bayer CropScience for its crop protection and seeds business. Good relationships with the farming media and innovative thinking in press relations, including digital and social channels, are among the attributes sought.

European Network of Agricultural Journalists

Guild Members Philip Case and Adrian Bell participated in the EU Informal Council Ministers meeting in Riga, Latvia, on 1-2 June.

Meanwhile, Dei Tomos and Angela Calvert were successful in securing places on the Bord Bia/ENAJ press trip to Ireland at the end of June.

Guild Members should ‘save the date’ of two future ENAJ press trips: one to Austria (3-5 September) and one to Italy (21-25 September), details of which will be posted and circulated at a later date.

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.  

International Federation of Agricultural Journalists

IFAJ Congress 2015

Members are encouraged to register for the 2015 Congress, which takes place in New Zealand on 14-18 October – and let the Guild know once they have done so. Several Guild Members have already registered to go. Those who haven't are encouraged to apply for a Germinal Congress Bursary (entries close on 30 June) as a means of securing a place.

Pre-Congress Tour Options

Australia’s tropical wonderland beckons for all IFAJ members contemplating heading Down Under for the 2015 World Congress in New Zealand. The Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists is joining with the Rural Press Club of Queensland to put together an enticing pre-congress tour.

There will be a welcome gathering on the evening of October 8 followed by three action packed days which will include visits to the World Heritage Daintree rainforest and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. The group will then fly to Sydney on October 12 for a leisurely evening before crossing to New Zealand the next day for IFAJ Congress 2015.


Guild member Mike Donovan participated in the E4D Gambia tour - including the official opening of the Future Farm in Lusaka by AGCO.

Nepal Earthquake Appeal

More than £2200 has been raised so far after the Guild launched an appeal  to help farming families who lost their livelihoods in the Nepal earthquake. Farmers were among the worst hit by the 7.8-magnitude quake, which left more than 5,000 people dead on Saturday (25 April). Survivors included agricultural journalist Pitambar Sigdel, who was a delegate at the IFAJ 2014 Congress in Aberdeen, last September.

New direction for IFAJ global office

The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists has contracted Qu’anglo Communications & Consulting of Ormstown, Quebec, to manage the IFAJ Global Office.

The IFAJ Global Office provides support for member associations of agricultural journalists worldwide as well as development activities in non-member countries.

It also provides management and administration services for IFAJ events and programmes.

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.

From the beginning of April this year, all Members of the Guild working at AHDB organisationshave modified email addresses structured:

Former 5M Publishing editor Chris Harris is now working as a freelance agricultural and food journalist from his home office: 55 Park View New Malden, Surrey KT3 4AX. Tel: 020 8949 2947. Mobile: 07963 147715. He can also be contacted using his new email address:

Arable freelance (and Guild awards secretary) Louise Impey has a new email address –

Robin Limb has left British Sugar, where he was editor of the company’s Beet Review magazine, to work as an independent consultant and freelance journalist. He can be reached by email:

Jackie Linden has also departed 5M Publishing where she was editor of and and is now available for freelance commissions at her home office: 1 Summersfield Terrace, Liss, Hampshire GU33 7LF. Tel: 01730 890066. Mobile: 07801 800708. Email:

Natalie Yeatman-Reed has moved from to join Haymarket Exhibitions as marketing manager for the Cereals and Fruit Focus events. She can be contacted on 01788 892039 or at

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:

Maggie Bennett, Events & Communications Manager (maternity cover), Quality Meat Scotland, Rural Centre, Ingliston, Midlothian EH28 8NZ. Tel: 0131 472 4040 Mobile: 07734 110351 Email:

Isabel Davies, freelance journalist and communications consultant, 2 Shepley Close, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 2NJ. Tel: 0208 669 7098 Mobile: 07973 893203 Email:

Melanie Jenkins, freelance journalist, Ty Ffair Mai, Llangwm, Usk, Monmouthshire NP15 1LT. Mobile: 07771 347447 Email:

Jackie Linden, freelance journalist, 1 Summersfield Terrace, Liss, Hampshire GU33 7LF. Tel: 01730 890066. Mobile: 07801 800708. Email:

Laura Rutherford, farmer and freelance writer, North Dakota, USA. Tel: 00 1 701 360 1974 Email:

Alison Teare, Simply Marketing, Ballavair Farm, Bridge Road, Bride, Isle of Man IM74 4AP. Tel: 07624 450296 Mobile: 07624 450296 Email:

…and also new Friends of the Guild:

Simon Cook, Freelance Photographer, 6 Morrab Place, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4DG. Tel: 01736 360041 Mobile: 07803 068110 Email:

James Milnes, Freelance Photographer, RuralPics, West View, Parson Drove, Billinghay, Lincs LN4 4BB. Mobile: 07702 893224. Email:

Sara Studden, Freelance Technical Writer and Presenter, The Farming Show, Pirate 2DAB, 33 Wheal Agar, Pool, Redruth, Cornwall TR15 3QL. Mobile: 07533 068526 Email:

…but we also say Goodbye to…

Georgina Haigh, journalist on Farmers Guardian and Arable Farming, who is moving to a job at Thame Market and will spend more time on the farm at home.

Alison Mann who has left her news reporter job at The Scottish Farmer to join zooom productions in Austria, where she will write about extreme sports and adventure travel – very different from agriculture – and be nearer her boyfriend who she met at IFAJ Congress 2014.

Congratulations to...

Congratulations to Peter Reynolds, Guild Member and managing editor at Shepherd Publishing, who was clothed in April as a fully-fledged member of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, one of the City of London’s illustrious Livery Companies.

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


Join Us!

Click here to view Guild membership benefits and to find out how to join.

Guild News

Click here for the latest news.