British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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GAJ eAlert - April 2012

ENAJ Media Tour - Denmark

The new European Network of Agricultural Journalists (ENAJ) is organising a media facility visit to Denmark in June to coincide with the meeting of European Farm Ministers. Guild chairman Adrian Bell is attending as a member of the ENAJ organising committee but there is also a place available to a journalist member of the British Guild – all travel and hotel costs will be looked after by the European Commission.

The trip, from Sunday, June 3 to Tuesday, June 5, will include a briefing on the Danish farm sector by the country’s farmers’ union; two guided tours, including a visit to one of Europe’s largest organic enterprises, with agriculture ministers and commissioners; and a formal press conference with farm ministers.

Guild members who would like to apply should do so by Thursday this week by contacting Guild secretary Clemmie Gleeson so that a Guild-nominated participant can be chosen in time for accreditation procedures and bookings.

IFAJ Congress 2012

Congratulations to U35s Guild member Aly Balsom, livestock reporter on Farmers Weekly, for winning a free place at the IFAJ Congress 2012 in Sweden and the young journalists professional development workshop being held during the event. She joins fellow young writers from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, South Africa and the United States as winners of the Alltech-sponsored IFAJ Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism award. The British Guild will support Aly's travel expenses.


A Facebook forum has been set-up by Guild secretary Clemmie Gleeson for the exclusive use of U35 Members and Friends to encourage an exchange of views and ideas on Guild activities, and on agricultural journalism in general. There are 12 members signed up so far; anyone wishing to join them needs to request to join using the link from the Guild's main Facebook page.

IFAJ Star Prize Photography

Guild members who fancy a go at winning a cash award for their best images have until Tuesday, May 1 to enter the IFAJ Star Prize photography competition sponsored by DeLaval. Entries must have been published in 2011 and be appropriate for one of three categories – People, Production and Nature/Landscape. Entry details here.

IFAJ Media Tour – Kenya

Fifteen agricultural journalists from around the World have the opportunity to take part in a six-day media tour of Kenya arranged by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ). The purpose of this pioneering event is to provide a first-hand look at farm issues in the developing world and enable journalists to report on these topics to audiences back home.

Participants will explore a vibrant continent full of initiatives and business opportunities to boost agricultural production and economic development. All costs are taken care of once those taking part arrive in Nairobi; the only commitment is to share their experiences with members of their Guild and the IFAJ. Application forms should be submitted by Friday, May 11 to the British Guild’s IFAJ representative Joe Watson.

Agropress Media Tour - Serbia

The Serbian Association of Agricultural Journalists – AGROPRESS – is hosting a media tour in the country and has five free places available for members of Guilds and Press Clubs affiliated to the IFAJ. The programme, running from May 14 to 19, takes in the International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad before heading into the countryside to visit traditional households and farms, modern technologies, and successful agribusiness companies, while enjoying the scenary, tourist attractions and home-made specialities, says Agropress president, Goran Djakovic.     Thanks to support from the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry & Water Management and other sponsorships, five international journalists will participate free once they have arrived in Serbia. Full details of this year’s Balkan Tour for Journalists is available here. To apply, Guild members should email a short letter explaining why they wish to join the tour to the Agropress secretary copied to Mr Djakovic.

Flower power

Guild members with an interest in ornamental horticulture – flowers, plants and trees – should have the world exhibition Floriade on their radar – and this year it will be relatively close to home, being held in The Netherlands in August. Floriade is held in the country only once every 10 years; on this occasion it will be staged near the city of Venlo, a horticultural region in south near the German border. It was here, apparently, that the tasty tomato was ‘invented’ and it is also famous for roses.

There will be welcome reception for journalists visiting Floriade on Monday, August 20 at 10am, after which guided tours are available. Details at the Floriade website. Members planning to visit can get travel advice from Hans Siemes, IFAJ executive representative for The Netherlands, via email; he also wishes to register any journalists attending.

Guild Council changes

At the first management Council meeting of the year, freelance arable writer Louise Impey took on the role of Awards Secretary to organise and administer the Guild's growing programme of journalism and photography awards. She takes over from Doreen Forsyth after a successful year in the role. Deputy chairman Jane Craigie relinquished overall responsibility of Events, which are now overseen by Howard Venters alongside marketing and sponsorship. All other Guild officers remained in their current posts, which are listed on the Management Council page of the Guild website under Member Information.

Photography Award sponsors

Businesses keen to support Guild activities have the opportunity to sponsor cash prizes for one or more categories in the Guild's popular photography awards programme. There are four categories - People, Livestock, Crops, Landscape - with the President's Trophy awarded to the overall winner. Expressions of interest to sponsorship secretary Howard Venters, please.

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.

The PR agency ABC wants to recruit an experienced PR/marketing professional or an experienced journalist looking for a career change to the Shrewsbury-based team working in agriculture, food chain, animal health and land industries.

A deputy arable editor is being recruited for Farmers Weekly and Crops. Details are in the eAlerts Archive on the website.

The Agricultural Industry Confederation (AIC) is recruiting a policy co-ordinator, whose duties will include a communications role.

Informa wishes to appoint a senior editor to its Agra-Europe publication that provides EU news, analysis and comment.

Year Book updates

Update the Guild Year Book with the new job, location and contact details noted here, as well as any new member listings below. Earlier updates can be found in the eAlerts Archive section of the Guild website.

The photography agency run by Guild member Catherine MacGregor has recruited fellow 'lens lady' Catherine Laurenson, who can be contacted on mobile 07584 241678 or by email.

At Farmers GuideDominic Kilburn has been appointed production and arable editor  (see News). He can be contacted on 01473 691888, by mobile 07747 761197 or by email.

Friend of the Guild Ian Munnery has been appointed general manager and director of the new UK sugar beet seed trials, research and sales company set up by SESVanderHave earlier this year. He is based at new office, workshop and storage premises in Wellingore, Lincs and can be reached by telephone 01522 813862 or his new email address.

Retired Guild member Roscoe Howells has recently discovered the joys of email.

Former Yorkshire Post agricultural editor, Guild member Robert 'Bob' Benson, has a new emailaddress.

Ian Ashbridge has joined Bidwells as an agribusiness consultant from Farmers Weekly where he was business and eonomics editor. He advises a range of rural businesses on single farm payment, agri-environmental schemes and crop management issues. Ian can be contacted on 01223 559539 or by email.

Guild member and pesticides campaigner Georgine Downs has a new email address.

Following the change of ownership of Farmers Guardian, all staff email addresses have changed to a new format with 'farmersguardian' replacing 'ubm'. Telephone numbers are unchanged except for London-based Guild member Olivia Midgley, reporter, and head of digital content Scott Casey, who have relocated to offices of the title's new owner:  Briefing Media Ltd, 3rd Floor, Mermaid House, Puddle Dock, London EC4V 3DB. Guild member Peter Hollinshead, editor of Dairy Farmer, is also based there with a new email address.

Arable writer Mike Abram has left Farmers Weekly Group to join Bayer CropScience. Contact details to come.

Former Merial corporate communications manager Philip Connolly has relinquished his Guild membership.

New members

Members who would like to invite colleagues and industry contacts to consider joining the Guild can contact membership secretary Liz Snaith.

The Guild is delighted to welcome the following new Members…

Matthew Sharp, freelance, 33 Medway Place, Cramlington, Nortthumberland NE23 3GQ. Mobile: 07590 434273 Email.

Johann Tasker, Chief Reporter, Farmers Weekly, Hillside Cottage, Polstead Hill, Polstead, Colchester, Essex CO6 5AH. Tel: 01206 263807 Mobile: 07967 634971. Email.

….and also the following new Friend of the Guild:

Diana Rees, Marketing Communications Manager, Bayer CropScience, 230 Cambridge Science Park, Cambridge CB4 0WB. Tel: 01223 226617. Mobile: 07958 219760. Email.

On the website News pages ……

New entrants training scheme 2012 Dominic Kilburn joins Farmers Guide Plans for Christmas Carol service New wool campaign magazine New member profile: Chris Lockwood New member profile: Rhian Price New member profile: Debbie Mather New member profile: Rachael Holdsworth Two Catherines team up for photography Rebecca Pow returns to the Guild

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.


Johann Tasker

01206 263807


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