British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
International Contacts, Annual Congress Tours, Professional Development, Writing & Photo Awards, Freelance Directory
Members of the Guild are also members of...

GAJ eAlert October 2011

Harvest Service and Harvest Lunch

With more than 200 places taken up by Guild members and their guests, the annual harvest lunch was a sell-out success, with the preceding service at St Brides church also attracting an even bigger congregation than usual.

There are reflections and images in News on the Guild website, where the results of the Guild’s Netherthorpe Communicator of the Year and Yara Journalism awards are announced – see the relevant Awards pages to find out who won and why.

Charitable Trust

The Guild’s own Charitable Trust benefited to the tune of £1800 from sales of Harvest Lunch draw tickets and an auction of Wimbledon centre court tickets. Further good news for the Trust’s capital fund is that £2400 has been received from the estate of former Guild chairman Ronnie Fraser to add to the initial legacy payment of £10,000.

Guild members can make annual contributions of just £10 (or more if they wish) by taking up shares in the 200 Club – see the Charitable Trust pages on the Guild website for details – or by purchasing the new Guild Christmas card, which is now on sale – see September eAlert in the website archive.

European Commission website

The Guild’s IFAJ representative Joe Watson emphasises that the new European Commission website providing a central source of EU farming news and information (see News) is available only to working journalists – access requests from PR specialists will be denied. “That is the decision of the European Commission, which wants to improve communications specifically with staff and freelance journalists covering European agriculture issues,” Joe points out.

Guild NOAH award

Watch out for details of the Guild’s Animal Health & Welfare Journalism Award, sponsored by NOAH, which will be circulated in a dedicated eAlert at the beginning of November.

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.   Shropshire-based PR agency RQB Ltd is looking for a Technical Writer to join the team. A good working knowledge of the agricultural industry, and particularly the livestock sector, is essential. Interested applicants should visit the website for more information and to download an application form. Closing date: 11 Nov 2011.

Other posts: A reporter is being sought by the Farmers Weekly Group publication Poultry Worldand Farmers Weekly is on the look out for an arable reporter.

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.

Philip Case is moving from the arable desk on Farmers Weekly to become deputy news editor.

Suzie Horne (right) has been promoted to business editor on Farmers Weekly. Her contact details are unchanged from those given in the Year Book.

Emily Padfield has left the machinery desk on Farmers Weekly to join AGCO, the international machinery manufacturer that sponsors the Guild’s eAlerts. Working alongside fellow Guild member Paul Lay (manager, creative services and public relations) she has taken the role of creative services support manager based at AGCO’s Europe, Africa & Middle East headquarters at Abbey Park, Stoneleigh, Warwicks CV8 2TQ. Her contact details are:  Tel: 02476 852 16; Mobile: 07917 613 521; Email:

Caroline Stocks (right) has moved from the Farmers Weekly news desk to work as a freelance from her new home in Derbyshire. Contact details: 21 Charnos Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 4FT. Mobile: 07792 726487; Email:; Twitter:

New members

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

Martin's charitable run

Several Guild members have supported machinery freelance Martin Rickatson, who completed  the Maidstone Half Marathon to raise funds for the Stroke Association. But congratulatory donations can still be made at the JustGiving website, he points out. "I wheezed my way round in 1hr 54:16, finishing exactly halfway down the field," reports Martin. "I blame the children for the playschool cold and cough they gave me the week before; but lack of training probably also had something to do with it...."

LEAF President's Event invitation

Guild member Caroline Drummond has extended a media invitation to attend this year's LEAF President's Event in London next Wednesday, November 2. Keynote speaker Professor Sir David Baulcombe FRS, who will outline the growing opportunity for plant genetics, will be joined by contributors from HSBC, Asda, Molson Coors and LEAF on the efficient use of resources as food production is increased and high environmental standards are maintained. Download a programme here and contact LEAF’s Evelyn See for details or to confirm attendance by October 28.

What's on the Guild website?

A full list of Netherthorpe Award winners from past years has been added to the page describing the Guild’s most prestigious award.

Added to the website News pages since the previous eAlert…… Packed church for Hasrvest Service Royal guest at Harvest Lunch Food, glorious food! Produce display donated to a good cause Nuffield Scholar on communication challenges Keen bidding for Wimbledon tickets New media training service Lincs farming book from Alan Stennett Impressions of an impressive congress Caroline Stocks takes up freelance role Alan Barker EC visit explores Polish agriculture New EC agri website for journalists New member: Olivia Midgley Fresh challenges for Philip Case New member: Sarah Lewis James (Jim) Kettle New member: Hannah Goodwin



Johann Tasker

01206 263807


Join Us!

Click here to view Guild membership benefits and to find out how to join.

Guild News

Click here for the latest news.