British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - September 2014

IFAJ Congress 2014 - a triumph!

It took a huge amount of detailed planning and preparation but hosting more than 200 agri and rural journalists from around the World to showcase innovation in British agricultural, food and drink production was nothing less than a triumph.

From pre-Congress in London and the south-east, through the main Congress based in Aberdeen, and on to the post-Congress tours in the Midlands and Wales, journalists and broadcasters were informed and entertained in the most professional way possible, while enjoying the best of British regional food and drink.

Various elements of the Congress are reported in News. For more great images and feedback from the event, visit the IFAJ Congress 2014 website, the Congress Facebook page, and the post-Congress Facebook page.

Charitable Trust prize draw - get those tickets sold!

All Members and Friends of the Guild have been sent tickets for the prize draw, which will be held at the Harvest Lunch on Wednesday - please don’t leave them to one side. Either sell them to colleagues, family or friends, or buy them yourself,  urges Stephen Howe, chairman of the Guild's charitable trust.

The Trustees quietly (and confidentially) do an enormous amount of good work for members of the Guild and their families who find themselves in financial or other difficulties through ill health, advancing years and other causes. In addition to practical help, they can provide some financial assistance when necessary as long as the Charitable Trust capital fund produces sufficient income.

The prize draw helps top up that fund - so be sure to make a contribution by getting the draw ticket stubs (with payment) to Charitable Trust treasurer Diane Montague in time for the draw (ie First Class post on Monday) or send them with someone going to the Harvest Lunch.

Bid for Wimbledon tickets

Two Centre Court tickets for the first day of next year’s Wimbledon tennis championships will be auctioned at the Harvest Lunch for the benefit of the Guild’s Charitable Trust.

Generously donated by Group Capt Grieve Carson, a trustee and long-time supporter of the Guild, the seats are located in a prime position on Centre Court directly opposite the Royal Box. Bids can be made by email to Stephen Howe up to 6pm on Tuesday, October 9 in the hope of out-bidding the live auction on the day.

Please note: It is a condition of the Charitable Trust auction that the tickets, which will be sent to the successful bidder mid-May, must not be sold or passed on to a third party.

Awards for communication projects

Communication projects and campaigns on agriculture and rural development are eligible for a prestigious European Commission award. The CAP Communication Awards organised by the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development aim to showcase best practice communication projects relating to agriculture, rural development and the Common Agricultural Policy.

Finalists in each category will be invited to a DG-Agri networking event in Brussels on January 29 next year to present their projects and the winners will be chosen by live audience voting during the awards ceremony.

Last year, the #AgriChatUK team won second place in the Innovative Communication category; there are also categories for stakeholder and public communications. All 2013 winners’ projects can be viewed on the awards website here, where details of eligibility and entry criteria are also provided. Entries must be made by the October 31 deadline.

Tanzania media tour for Georgina Haigh

Guild member Georgina Haigh has won the opportunity to see and report on agriculture and rural enterprise in Tanzania.

The Farmers Guardian arable reporter secured a place through the Guild on the six-day IFAJ/Agriterra Exposure-4-Development media tour in November. In previous years, British Guild members Liz Wright and Chris McCullough have won places to other African countries.

The IFAJ initiative, supported by Dutch development agency Agriterra and sponsors, enables a small group of agricultural journalists from a number of countries to report on global food production and farming issues in the developing world.

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.

Agri-hub is recruiting! To meet growing demand, we are looking for someone with excellent written and spoken skills to liaise with PR clients and editors and produce expert written content worth publishing. For more information, visit the Agri-hub website or contact Olivia Cooper on 01392 840009 or 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.

Note: Publication of the 2014/15 Year Book has been deferred this year. 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.

Redrock Publicity owner Phil Christopher has moved his agency to Unit 22, Rural Enterprise Centre, Stafford Drive, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury SY1 3FE. In addition to the email and mobile published in the current Year Book, he can be reached on 01743 453146.

Guild member Terry Jones has left his post as communications director at the Food & Drink Federation to become director general of the Provision Trade Federation, the trade association for the dairy and meat trade. His new contact details are: Provision Trade Federation, 17 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DP. Tel: 020 7253 2114 Email:

Newly-appointed Media Manager at RDP Advertising & Marketing is Angharad Evans, who joins the agency in the third week of October. She now qualifies as a Member of the Guild with voting and other rights, having been a Friend during her time as projects manager at logistics specialist DHL Agri-food.

At RDP, Angharad replaces Matt Peacock who has stepped down from the Guild having emigrated with his wife to Australia.

Farm-Smart Publishing, run by Guild member Andy Newbold, now produces the Tillage and UK Grain magazines from new offices at 13 King’s Yard, Sedburgh, Cumbria LA10 5BJ. All other contact details are unchanged.

News has only just reached the Guild that retired member John Telford died last December. He worked for dairy equipment manufacturer DeLaval and before retirement was secretary of the milking machine manufacturers’ trade association.

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:

Ben Coates, EBLEX, Media Officer, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2TL. Tel: 024 7647 8736. Email:

Joel DurkinFarmers Guardian, Reporter, Unit 4 Fulwood Park, Caxton Road, Preston PR2 9NZ. Tel: 01772 799409. Email:

Harry Mitchell, Anglia Farmers, AF PRomote Business Manager, Honingham Thorpe, Colton, Norfolk NR9 5BZ. Tel: 01603 881983 Mobile: 07788 335973 Email:

....and a new Friend of the Guild:

Aled Rhys Davies, Animax Ltd, Deputy Managing Director, Shepherds Grove West, Stanton, Suffolk IP31 2AR. Tel: 01359 252181.

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

IFAJ Congress 2014 - a Guild triumph!

Guild profile raised through Congress media coverage

Alison Mann wins Congress leadership course

QMS bursary winners experience Congress

EBLEX video specialist Ben Coates jons the Guild

Arctic, Africa and Perthshire - Rob Bryce rejoins the Guild

Record numbers signed up for Guild training

Brussels insight for U35s Hayley Mace and Ben Briggs

New member Harry Mitchell heads PR service intiative

Robert Jeffery

Guild members 'meet the Editor'

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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