British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - June 2017

Harvest Service & Lunch - save the date

This year's Guild Harvest Service will take place on Thursday, 12 October 2017, at St Brides Church, followed by luncheon at Painters Hall.

This flagship event is a highlight of the Guild year – and an opportunity to meet friends old and new. Guild Members are advised to 'save the date' now, in anticipation of further details being made available in a future eAlert during the coming weeks. 

Minutes from the 2017 Guild AGM

This year's Guild AGM took place on Thursday, 4 May at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Minutes from the 2017 AGM are available here.

The event was a success and Rothamsted is offering an additional 5% discount to Guild Members who book a meeting at the Rothamsted Conference Centre within six months. To obtain the discount, Guild Members should mention the AGM at the time of booking.

The new Rothamsted Conference Centre is set on the grounds of the Rothamsted Research campus in Harpenden. Situated 25 minutes from Central London and less than 10 minutes from London Luton Airport, it offers state of the art meeting facilities from 200 to 300 delegates in a setting steeped in scientific and agricultural history.

Facilities include the latest audio visual and media streaming capabilities, extensive exhibition and networking areas, a welcoming restaurant, free, reliable WiFi and a dedicated, complimentary car park. 

For full details, or to arrange a site visit, contact Katie Simmons on or call 01852 938108.

Keep ahead of everything Brexit

A monthly round-up of agricultural news, views and analysis relating to Brexit is being published by Supply Intelligence, led by Guild Member Cedric Porter.

Called Brexit Food and Farming, the publication includes a summary of the latest developments and indication of what post-Brexit food and farming policies will look like as the UK leaves the EU.

For further details, email

Earlier news: 

New editorial team at Agronomist & Arable Farmer

Lewis Business Media has announced the appointment of a new editorial team to drive forward its title Agronomist & Arable Farmer (AAF). Read more.... 

IFAJ congress shines light on international agriculture

Guild Member Melanie Jenkins seized the "opportunity of a lifetime" to attend the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Alltech boot camp and IFAJ Congress in South Africa. Read more...

New books from machinery writer Martin Rickatson

Guild Member Martin Rickatson has recently helped launch the fifth book to which he has contributed in recent years – with a sixth due out later in 2017. Read more... 

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Charitable Trust prize draw

The Charitable Trust set up to help Members young and old when they face a period of financial or other difficulty continues to build its capital reserves but, with investment returns still being at modest levels, the fund could always do with more contributions.

The 200 Club is one way of painlessly supporting the work of the Trustees - who provide practical help as well as cash when appropriate; shares are only £10 a year for a chance to win a cash prize twice a year. In the last draw, announced at the annual meeting, Jane Craigie and John Kenyoneach won £50, Louise Impey netted £100 and Teresa Wickham took the top prize of £250.

Read more about the Trust towards the foot of this eAlert or visit the web page.

New Members and Friends

To invite colleagues and industry contacts to consider joining the Guild, point them to the website page here, where the benefits are set out and a leaflet is available to download. There is also a link to online membership application and subscription Direct Debit forms. Subscription rates for 2016 are unchanged from last year at £72 for Members and Friends, £36 for Retired Members and Student Friends.

The Guild is delighted to welcome the following new Members:

Richard Bradley, Machinery & Technology Reporter, Briefing Media, Unit 4, Fulwood Park, Caxton Road, Preston, Lancashire PR2 9NZ. Tel: 01772 799412 Mobile: 07880 490519 Email:

Role at Work: Reporting on farm machinery and technology topics for Farmers GuardianArable Farming and Dairy FarmerWhy I wanted to join: Keep up to date with the latest news in the industry. Nominated by Ben Briggs, Editor, Farmers Guardian.

Marianne Curtis, Senior Arable Specialist, Briefing Media, Unit 4, Fulwood Park, Caxton Road, Preston, Lancashire PR2 9NZ. Mobile: 07815 003236 Email:

Role at Work: I report on arable related topics for Farmers GuardianArable Farming and FGInsightWhy I wanted to join: To help develop contacts and be eligible to enter Guild competitions. Nominated by Teresa Rush, Head of Arable, Briefing Media

Colette Dyer, Marketing Communications and PR Specialist, Massey Ferguson (Europe, Middle East), Abbey Park, Stareton, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2TQ. Tel: 0476 852189 Mobile: 07717 355307 Email:

Role at Work: Product marketing communications and press relations for the Massey Ferguson product line. Why I wanted to join: To make connections with fellow agricultural press, marketing and PR consultant colleagues. Nominated by Liz Snaith, Liz Snaith Consultants

Naomi Lewis, Marketing Manager, Holstein UK, Speir House, Stafford Park 1, Telford, Shropshire TF3 3BD. Tel: 01923 695348 Mobile: 07590 862745 Email:

Role at work: Agricultural marketing and PR with a focus on the dairy industry. Why I wanted to join: To increase networking and support opportunities along with being able to have the opportunity to attend courses. Nominated by Rebecca Barningham, Rural Marketing Solutions.

Edward (Edd) Mowbray, Machinery Reporter, Farmers Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Brighton Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS. Tel: 020 8652 4911 Email:

Role at Work: Report on all aspects of agricultural machinery. Why I wanted to join: Further knowledge and take advantage of training. Nominated by Oli Mark, Machinery Editor, Farmers Weekly.

Jobs & Recruitment

Vacant positions are mentioned in Guild eAlerts as a service to members but a recruitment advertising service is also available to organisations keen to attract talent from among the ranks of the Guild membership involved in journalism and commercial communications. More details about this service are available on the website or can be obtained by contacting Peter Hill.

Find details of all posts here.

Member contacts update

Updates on new job, location and contact details are noted below. Earlier updates can be found in the eAlerts Archive section of the Guild website accessed via the Member Communications tab.

Sarah Alderton is no longer at Farmers Weekly having moved to Cumbria and set up Farmgate Media as a freelance writing, PR, video, social media and event organisation agency. She can be reached on 01931 714801 or 07739 969198 or via her email address.

Members and Friends of the Guild - update your membership profiles on the Guild website with any changes of address or telephone number, or about any services you provide. This will ensure that information displayed on the Farming Media Centre web page and in the next edition of the Yearbook is accurate and up to date. If you have not previously logged in to the website, follow the instructions available here.

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.

On the Guild Facebook page....

The Guild Facebook page includes updates and photos of interest to Guild Members, including Guild-related news from other websites. To take a look, visit

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 email.

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.

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.


Contact 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 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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