British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - July 2016

Call for Netherthorpe nominations

Nominations are now open for the 2016 Netherthorpe Communicator of the Year award for outstanding service to agricultural journalism.

This is the Guild's flagship award – made annually to the Guild member who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to agricultural communications.

Judges will be looking for a winner who has contributed to the dissemination of knowledge and understanding about agriculture in its widest sense, over a number of years.

This can have been by the written word or through editing, by production or presentation on radio and television. The award is open to press and public relations members of the Guild, as well as journalists, editors and photographers.

The nominations deadline is Wednesday, 17 August. For more details, including a list of past winners, click here.

New print and broadcast journalism award

The Guild is delighted to announce a new print and broadcast journalism award that celebrates excellence in the reporting of farmer initiatives to tell the public about food production.

Open exclusively to Members of the Guild, the Red Tractor Assurance Public Engagement Award recognises journalistic endeavours that describe the way that farmers have opened their farm to the public, create direct sales channels, use technology to tell their traceability story or go above and beyond to communicate farming's great stories to consumers.

The closing date for the inaugural Red Tractor Assurance Public Engagement Award is Wednesday, 24 August. For full details, click here.

Prize fund doubled to £2000 for innovation award

The prize fund has been doubled for the Guild's journalism award for articles and broadcasts highlighting technical innovation in agriculture.

Now open for entries, the 2016 prize fund for the Keenan Alltech Farming Innovation Award now stands at £2000 for articles or broadcasts that best illustrate the innovative nature of British farmers.

For this year's award, entries reporting on innovation – in all its forms – are eligible as long as they have been published or broadcast in Great Britain between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016.

Entries can be made by the author or a third party (an editor or producer, for example) and are limited to one entry per Member of the Guild. A specialist panel appointed by the Guild and Keenan Alltech will judge the entries.

The deadline for entries is Wednesday, 24 August. For full details, click here.

Yara Awards open for entries

Entries are open for this year's Yara Awards – sponsored by one of the Guild's longest-serving supporters of agricultural journalism.

The awards provide a £3000 prize fund for three categories of broadcast or feature article: Arable, Grassland/Livestock and Environment/Rural Affairs.

Entries are judged by leading farmers and supply industry figures, as well as the previous year's winners. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, 24 August. For full details, click here.

Harvest Lunch tickets now available

Tickets for the 2016 Guild Harvest Lunch are now available. Preceded by the annual Guild Harvest Service at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, this year's Harvest Lunch takes place at Painters' Hall, Trinity Lane, London.

The Harvest Lunch is the highlight of the Guild year and a worthwhile opportunity to meet Friends and Guests new and old. Thanks to the generous sponsorship tickets are available at a very reasonable £49.50 for Guild Members and Friends, and £69.50 for Guests.

For full details, and to apply for tickets, please click here.

Latest award winners celebrated

A number of awards were presented to Guild Members during the summer months – recognising excellence in photography as well as print journalism.

The 2016 Livestock photography award, sponsored by Massey Ferguson, was won by Marcello Garbagnoli for his photo "Colourful Sheep” published in Farmers Guardian. Runner-up was John Eveson for his photo "Leaping Lamb”, broadcast on the television programme Have I Got News For You.

The 2016 Arable photography award, sponsored by DuPont Agriculture, was won by Oli Hill for his photo of a cabbage stem flea beetle on an oilseed rape seedling. Runner-up was Tim Scrivener for a photo of two visitors taken at the Cereals Event, seen through a spade handle.

The winning photos – and other entries – can be seen here.

The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) Award, which celebrates articles and broadcasts that highlight the role of engineering in agriculture and other land-based industries, was won by Mike Donovan.

Mike’s winning article, published in his magazine Practical Farm Ideas describes the development of a driverless, cabless, diesel-electric tractor that is the first dedicated autonomous agricultural vehicle to become available commercially.

Freelance Louise Impey received the runner-up prize for her in-depth article on precision farming and how it is being used to good effect on UK farms. It was published in Crops magazine.

Full details of the IAgrE Award are available here.

The Stuart Seaton Regional Newspaper & Journalist Award was presented to Norfolk’s agricultural, food and farming editor Chris Hill, of the East Anglian Daily Times.

The award celebrates high quality agricultural journalism published by regional newspapers and the information and insight it provides to farmers and the non-farming public alike.

Details of the Stuart Seaton award are available here.

Guild members scoop international accolades

Guild Members Marcello Garbagnoli and Chris McCullough were category winners in the IFAJ-DeLaval Star Prize for Photography contest.

In total, there were 105 entries; Marcello won the Nature/Landscape Category, while Chris won the People's Choice Award.

The overall winner was Todd Klassy of the USA for "Braving the Rain" – a photo depicting a rancher on horseback caught in a downpour. Judges said the winning image transmitted the "essence and spirit of the agricultural sector" and praised its colour and composition.

The awards were presented at the 2016 Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in Bonn, Germany. The contest coordinator was IFAJ executive member of Canada Allison Finnamore and overall coordinator IFAJ Secretary General Riitta Mustonen.

Members enjoy top time at summer shows

Guild Members, Friends and Guests enjoyed a convivial time at three major agricultural shows this summer – thanks to the generous support of Guild sponsors and event organisers.

The annual Bangers 'n' Beer reception proved as popular as ever at this year's Cereals event, held at Chrishall Grange, near Duxford, Cambridgeshire.

Guests enjoyed quality sausages and snacks, provided by Bayer CropScience; soft drinks and good beer brewed from Limagrain's British-grown barley and beans; with strawberries and cream generously supplied by Gleadell.

This was followed a week later by a sit-down Press Party meal at the Royal Highland Show.

A sumptuous feast was provided courtesy of QMS, McDonalds (wine and beer), Scottish Salmon (smoked salmon), Mackies (ice cream and crisps), M&S (strawberries and cream), First Milk (cheese) and NFU Mutual (soft drinks).

NFU Mutual also sponsored this year's BGAJ English Wine & Cheese Reception at the Livestock Event, held at the Birmingham NEC.

All of these events provide Guild Members with an opportunity to make new friends and renew old acquaintances but they could not happen without the kind support of our sponsors – and the Guild would like to take this opportunity to thank them all.

International News

Guild Council Member Caroline Stocks was among nine young agricultural journalism leaders to attend the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism boot camp in Bonn, Germany.

The two-day boot camp was held ahead of the 60th IFAJ congress. It was led by Owen Roberts, journalist, columnist, and adjunct professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences, and the research communications director at the University of Guelph.

Delegates heard from Patrick Charlton, Alltech vice president and CEO of Coppens International, Steve Werblow, writer for The Furrow agriculture journal, and Hugh Maynard, global manager of the IFAJ.

The boot camp challenged the participants to ask questions on the future of the agriculture industry – including ways that agricultural journalists can educate producers, consumers and policy-makers to ensure that farmers can continue to feed the world's ever-growing population.   The boot camp wrapped up with two dairy farm visits where the young journalists heard about volatile milk prices and the effects of the Russian ban on imported dairy and beef produce – as well as expansion opportunities in the dairy industry.

Obituary: Louise Hartley

Tributes have been paid to Louise Hartley, a Member of the Guild and a reporter on Farmers Guardian, who has died at the age of 24. Read more

Guild members support 2017 RABI charity calendar

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution calendar for 2017 has been launched – featuring work donated by Guild photographers. Read more

Farmers Guardian relaunches in magazine format

Farmers Guardian has undergone one of the most fundamental changes in its 172 year history: relaunching in magazine format. Read more

Lewis Business Media acquires Farm Businessportfolio

Lewis Business Media has acquired Grove House Publishing, including Farm Business magazine, other farming titles and business events. Read more

Roger Moore completes World Wheat Book trilogy

Guild Member Roger Moore has helped to complete the third and final volume the most comprehensive reference book for wheat ever produced. 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:

Stuart Booker, PR Account Manager, Kendalls, Rural Innovation Centre, Avenue H, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG. Tel: 01394 610022 Mobile: 07841 655379 Email:

Jos Jones, Machinery & Technology Reporter, Farmers Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS Tel: 020 8652 4555 Email:

Abby Kellett, Arable Specialist, Briefing Media, Unit 4, Fulwood Park, Caxton Road, Preston, Lancashire PR2 9NZ. Mobile: 07989 650622 Email:

Eilidh MacPherson, Publisher/Journalist and Photographer,, Marbrack Farm, Carsphairn, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway DG7 3TE Tel: 01644 460644 Mobile: 07977 897867 Email:

Ruth McClean, Communications Manager/Editor of Scottish Farming Leader, NFU Scotland, West Mains, Ingliston, Newbridge, Midlothian EH28 8LT. Tel: 0131 472 4108 Email:

Hannah Wilson, Assistant Account Executive, Pinstone Communications, Unit 3, The Business Plaza, Owen Way, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 0LA. Tel: 01568 617661 Email:

...but we say goodbye to Daniel Curtois, CLA North; Sara Studden, who is now contracting rather than writing; Joel Durkin, former business reporter on Farmers Guardian, who has moved out of agriculture; and Sarah Tempest, former PR executive with RDP.

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.

James Andrews has left the machinery desk at Farmers Weekly to freelance and work at home on the family farm. He can be contacted by email ( or mobile 07814 098918 and reached at Amperley Farm, Caynham, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 3BW.

Adrian Bell has moved from the agency he jointly set up to form a new business, AgroMavens Ltd, which from this autumn will be based at 20-22 Wenlock Road, London N1 7GU. For the time being, any correspondence should be mailed to Pancake Cottage, Pancake Hill, Chedworth near Cheltenham, Glos. Adrian can be reached on his existing mobile number (07976 866808), new London number 020 3637 6636 and new email address:

David Cousins has left Farmers Weekly after 34 years as a staff writer but will continue writing for the magazine on a freelance basis as well as doing some hands-on farm work. His mobile phone number remains 07702 190519 and he can be contacted on his new silverfoxfreelance@gmail.comemail address.

Milly Fyfe has taken on the role of Chief Executive of the Beef and Dairy Shorthorn society. Some of her contact details have changed including her email: and her address is now: Orchard Farm, Wards Lane, Yelvertoft, Northampton NN6 6LY . Twitter is now @MillyFyfe

Chris Green has departed from seed business Senovo to pursue his own ventures, Oat Innovations and the business consultancy Green Resources. He can be contacted at Green Resources Ltd, Stag House, Finchingfield, Essex CM7 4LU. Tel: 01371 810948 Mobile: 07540 706247 Email:

Sarah Jones has left her post as communications advisor at NFU Cymru to set up her own PR venture – News Peg – based near Llangadog, Carmarthenshire. She can be contacted on 07860 423299 or via her email address.

Oliver Mark has been promoted to Machinery Editor from his former deputy machinery role on Farmers Weekly. His contact details are unchanged.

Debbie Mather has resumed membership of the Guild having taken up her post as Head of Communications at Frontier Agriculture once more after a two-year stint at 2 Sisters Food Group. Debbie is based at Frontier’s Witham St Hughs, Lincoln headquarters, where she can be contacted by email ( or on 01522 860027 / 07875 355637

Olivia Midgley has been promoted to Head of News & Business on Farmers Guardian from her role as reporter. Her contact details are unchanged.

Ewan Pate, former farming editor on The Courier, Dundee, is now working from home as a freelance and as arable editor of Farm North East magazine. Having also moved home, his contact details are now: Craigend Farmhouse, Craigton of Monikie, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 3QN. Tel: 01382 370566 Mobile: 07398 986751 Email:

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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