British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert May 2014

Cereals Event reception – new venue

The Guild’s long-established and well-attended Cereals Event reception will this year be held in the Inspire Pavilion promoting agri industry careers. Head to the Pavilion on the first evening for a 5.30pm start to enjoy nourishing refreshments in the company of fellow Members and Friends – and do bring a potential new member as a guest. Click the map to get a full size PDF of the show layout.

Royal Highland Show reception

If past events are anything to go by, working journalist Members of the Guild will be treated to a cracking spread of Scottish fare to round off the first day – Thursday, June 19 – of the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston. Organiser Eddier Gillanders promises a sumptuous repast laid on by Quality Meat Scotland, along with ice cream and crisps from Mackies, strawberries and cream from Marks & Spencer, cheese from First Milk and wine from McDonalds.

The Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland generously provides the room adjoining the press centre in the Highland Hall free of charge, and also arranges for their caterers to supply plates and cutlery – and staff to keep glasses topped up! The fun starts at 6pm.

DG AGRI at the Highland Show

The European Commission’s dedicated agricultural media website Ag-Press.EU announces that the agricultural directorate DG AGRI will have an information stand organised by the Education Trust at the Royal Highland Show to answer questions on the CAP, or at least steer visitors to the right source of information. Games and quizzes will be provided for young and old, as well as organised school groups, as they learn about the EU and European agriculture. A professional entertainer is also promised – but not necessarily Guild member Roger Waite, the agri commissioner’s official spokesman, we're told.

Social media skills

A 33% discount has been secured by Guild member Simon Hayley for his second Twitter in the Farmyard conference tomorrow (Tuesday, June 3), thanks to funding under the Defra Rural Skills Framework. It will now cost Members and Friends of the Guild just £101 to hear speakers tell how they use social media to benefit their businesses. Call Simon on 07783 103951 to fill a last-minute seat.

Power on the Farm Award – Deadline: Friday, June 20

One of the Guild’s most prestigious and longest-running contests – the Perkins Power on the Farm Award – has been launched with generous prizes of £2000 to the winner and £1000 to the runner-up, plus a splendid lunch in London for the presentation. The entries deadline in Friday, June 20 – so if you had an article published or audio item broadcast with even the merest hint of a ‘power’ theme, get them entered. See the Award eAlert for info on past winning entries.

Photography award entries

A good selection of entries for the Guild Photography Awards has been posted to the website by awards secretary Louise Impey; they are now being judged. The winner and runner up in the Arable category – supported by new sponsor DuPont Agriculture – will be announced at the Guild’s Cereals Event evening reception on June 11. The outcome of the Livestock category, generously sponsored again by JG Animal Health, will be revealed at the Guild’s reception on the first evening of the Livestock Event at the NEC, Birmingham on July 2.

IFAJ photography contest

Surprisingly few professional photographer members of the Guild have entered the IFAJ Star Prize for Photography award, despite the appeal of a €500 cash prize for each winner of the three categories. All the same, there are some great Guild member entries: see them all on the Star Prize contest website – and make a note to enter next year!

Increased entries for IAgrE Award

An increase in the number of entries put in for the Guild’s new IAgrE ‘engineering in land-based industries’ journalism award made judging all the more difficult. Nonetheless, the winners have been chosen and will receive their cash prizes at the Cereals Event reception.

Home-produced produce Selfies

Guild member journalists on Farmers Guardian must surely be bracing themselves for some ‘interesting’ online images having teamed up with the British Food Fortnight campaign to promote home grown produce. Farmers and public alike are being invited to post pics of themselves on Twitter and Facebook in their funkiest “Harvest Fever” poses with produce from their farms, gardens and allotments, or in a food store, butcher or farm shop. Use the #HarvestFever hashtag and the @LoveBritishFood and @FarmersGuardian tags to search for interesting contributions.

International news

A survey has been put together to build up a picture of what Members and Friends of the British Guild – and their counterparts around the World – think of the benefits of being affiliated to the IFAJ, the international umbrella organisation to which all members of the Guild belong.

“The IFAJ officers want to know how the organisation is perceived, how people value it, and what they'd like to see from it in future,” says the Guild’s representative on the IFAJ executive. “The outcome will be discussed at the Congress we’re hosting in Scotland in four months’ time.” Have a go at the survey using this link by the June 15 deadline.

Some guidelines:

  • Please answer the questions by clicking the most appropriate answer.
  • Complete the questionnaire in one go because it is not possible to return later.
  • Do not complete the survey more than once, as duplicates will be filtered out.
  • Don’t forget to click ‘submit’ when the survey is finished.

Fighting poverty through informative journalism

Improved agricultural journalism can help fight poverty and food insecurity. That is the conclusion of a four-day research trip and agricultural communicators seminar organised by journalists in The Gambia and the Danish Food & Agricultural Journalists  organisation. Read an article about the event on the IFAJ website here.

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.

Two positions are open at RDP Advertising & Marketing to join Guild member Angus Chalmers and his team at one of the UK’s leading communication agencies specialising in the agriculture and food industry. “We are expanding and looking for two new people to join our team in Gloucestershire,” says Angus.

“First, a PR Account Manager to take on existing clients and to develop further opportunities – so agricultural knowledge is essential, along with great interpersonal skills and a desire to communicate. We’re very happy to consider candidates with an existing track record as well as those starting out on their communication careers. We are also looking for a specialist Media Manager to work with our existing media clients and to develop this growing area. Strong negotiation skills alongside a creative approach to developing media campaigns and the ability to build robust relationships are essential for this post,” says Angus.

Use the links to get full job descriptions for each post – then contact Angus for an informal and confidential discussion in the first instance: telephone and email details are with the job descriptions. Closing date for CVs is Monday, June 23.

Briefing Media, the publisher of Farmers GuardianArable Farming and Dairy Farmer is to appoint a Digital Product Manager to develop new digital products.

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.

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….

Check out the Industry Event Diary under the 'Events' tab at the top of the Guild website to find out when farming-related conferences, shows, technical events and exhibitions are being held.

In News on the Guild website

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

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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