British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - July 2017

Harvest Service

Tickets are selling well for this year's Harvest Service and Lunch, which will be held on Thursday, 12 October, at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, and Painters' Hall, London.

This is the guild's flagship annual event – and a first-class opportunity to catch up with other Members and Guests old and new.

You can secure your place by booking here.

The church service at St Bride's usually includes a non-secular reading – if there is a reading you would like to suggest, please contact

Netherthorpe Award - nominations open

Nominations are open for the Guild’s most prestigious award, the Netherthorpe, which celebrates the achievements of members in making an outstanding and sustained contribution to agricultural communications.

Judges will be looking for someone working as a journalist or in commercial communications who has contributed to the dissemination of knowledge and understanding about agriculture in its widest sense over a number of years.

For full details, click here.

Free training day on sheep worming

A free training day on sheep worming has been organised by the National Sheep Association in conjunction with the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

The programme for the day has been drawn up to cover all the current issues surrounding worming sheep. For details, click here.

Bid for charity tickets for Goodwood Revival

Are classic cars your passion? New Holland Agriculture has again kindly donated two tickets to the Trust for the world famous Goodwood Revival Festival, held on the Goodwood Estate near Chichester, West Sussex.

Two tickets being auctioned by the Trust are for Sunday, 10 September. All you have to do is submit your best bid for the two tickets by Thursday, 24 August. Entry details are available here.

Event: Shaping the industry post-Brexit

Organised by the Guild's Midlands Branch, this event is your opportunity to find out what’s going on behind the scenes. It will be held at Chesford Grange, Warwickshire, from 6pm-8pm on Wednesday, 2 August.

A panel of speakers representing farmers and the supply sector will explain their engagement to date with Defra Secretary Michael Gove, MPs, and senior Defra and EU officials regarding post-Brexit negotiations.

For full details, and to book your place, click here.

£1,500 prize pot for 2017 Red Tractor competition

Less than three weeks remain for BGAJ members to enter the 2017 Red Tractor Assurance Public Engagement Award.

A prize of £1,000 will go to the best article showcasing how farmers or businesses are communicating positive messages about British agriculture.

Full details about the award are available here.

Bangers and Beer – winners all round

The traditional "Bangers 'n' Beer" event at last month's Cereals 2017 was well attended by Guild Members and Guests - kindly hosted by Hutchinsons who also sponsored the food and drink.

Held at the end of the first day of the show, the get-together included the presentation of a number of guild awards.

The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) Award was won by Andrew Blake, with Adam Clarke as runner-up. A full report is available here.

The Guild's Arable Photography Award, sponsored by DuPont Agriculture, was won by John Eveson, with Oli Hill as runner-up. A full report is here.

The Stuart Seaton Regional Newspaper Award was won by Chris Hill, of the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich. A full report is here.

Members flock to Royal Highland press party

Guild Members and Guests enjoyed the annual press party for working journalists held at last month's Royal Highland Show.

Those present enjoyed a fantastic spread of food, with in the Highland Hall at the Ingliston showground, Edinburgh.

Kindly organised by Eddie Gillanders, this year's meal included beef courtesy of QMS, ice-cream from Mackies, strawberries from M&S and drinks sponsored by McDonalds and NFU Mutual.

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 2017 are £72.50 for Members and Friends, £36 for Retired Members and Student Friends.

The Guild is delighted to welcome the following new Members:

Adam Speed, Communications Manager, Crop Protection Association, Unit 2, Swan Court, Forder Way, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE7 8GX. Tel: 01733 355375 Mobile: 07884 586400 Email: Website:

Role at work: Responsible for CPA communications including PR, public affairs, digital and social media. Why I wanted to join: To network, develop contacts and learn from those working in similar fields. Nominated by Geoff Dodgson.

Jacqui Taylor, Managing Director, The Association for Agritourism South Africa, 13 Bach Street, La Pastorale, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Tel: 00 27 723 563212 Email: Website:

Role at work: I am an agricultural journalist and managing director of non-profit organisation Agritourism South Africa (NPO 175-957), which assists farmers in communicating with visitors and consumers. Why I wanted to join: I am a qualified journalist, grew up on a farm and have been involved in the agricultural world all my life. I am a British citizen currently working in South Africa. I am frequently asked to write articles for the international media on South African agriculture, the change that is happening from a political perspective and the effect this is having on farmers and the agricultural community. Nominated by Jane Craigie.

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

Mike Whiting, Compliance Engineer, Newmac Ltd, The Reading House, 11 Alexandra Road, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7QH. Mobile: 07930 726752 Email:

Role at Work: Compliance assessment of machinery and drafting technical files. Health and Safety support providing practical solutions to ensure legislative standards are met. Why I wanted to join: I am contributing articles and wish to develop my writing skills enabling me to draw the reader into wanting to read more. I understand that the Guild provides a wealth of experience and knowledge in writing for the agricultural arena. Nominated by Marion King.

...but we say goodbye to Jon Bullock, who has retired as Media & PR Manager at AHDB Pork to spend leisurely days in the Dordogne, France once he and his wife have completed their move there.

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 can be found in the eAlerts Archive section of the Guild website via the Member Communications tab.

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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