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 - September 2011

Get ready to send Christmas Greetings

This year’s Guild Christmas card, sold in aid of the Charitable Trust, is available at the competitive price of just £15 (including post and packing) for 25 quality cards and envelopes delivered to your door.

This great value for money offer is possible only through the generosity of Guild member Theresa Eveson, picture editor on Farmers Guardian, who donated the image and fellow Guild member Matt Mellor and colleagues at Agribusiness Communications (ABC), who handle the orders and dispatch the cards to members.

The image on this year’s card of Scottish Blackface ewes was taken in Lancashire and, as well as the Guild logo, the card carries the greeting Peace and Goodwill at Christmas.

Sending the card to family, friends and contacts this Christmas; it will help publicise the Guild and support its Charitable Trust, which offers year-round practical and financial help to members in difficulty and their families.

Harvest Lunch 2011

Unprecedented demand for the new-look Harvest Lunch meant bookings had to close within just a few days of opening! Successful applicants have been notified.

Harvest Service 2011

Guild members can still take part in the annual Harvest Service at St Brides Church, just off Fleet Street in London, whether or not they have tickets reserved for the Harvest Lunch that follows.

“The Guild’s Harvest Service, with its fantastic choir, is a truly wonderful occasion,” says sponsor Howard Venters of Shepherd Publishing. “I do hope that Guild members will come and fill the church to experience this splendid event.”

The service starts a little earlier this year, at 10.45am (the church will be open from 10.15am) and takes about an hour. Members not attending the lunch could try the Press House Wine Bar for a celebratory drink and a bite to eat – it’s not part of the church as such but is located directly beneath the spire! See the hostelry's website for details.

Guild ties and lapel pins

The Guild’s Harvest Lunch on October 13 is an excellent opportunity for members to flourish a Guild tie, illustrated here on the Guild website. Produced in high quality navy blue silk with gold motifs, the ties do the Guild proud and cost only £10 (inclusive of p&p. They are available from Wendy Ryder (see page 116 of the Guild Year Book). Gilt and enamel lapel badges are also available from Wendy at £2.50 each. Please make cheques payable to the Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

Great prizes for a good cause

Some terrific prizes are up for grabs in the Guild’s Charitable Trust annual draw – including theatre tickets, tea for two at the House of Lords, a weekend break for two at the Farmers Club and whisky, wine and a Christmas turkey!

Draw tickets have just been mailed out to members, so do look out for them in the post. Buying tickets and selling them to family members, friends and colleagues is a great way to support the Charitable Trust, which provides year-round confidential support for members who find themselves in some sort of financial or other difficulty.

To have a chance of winning a prize, however, ticket stubs (completed with the purchaser’s contact details) and money, must be sent to the Charitable Trust treasurer, Diane Montague, by Monday, October 10 ready for the draw at the Harvest Lunch. Ask Guild secretary Clemmie Gleeson for additional tickets when the first batch has been sold!

New demands on the countryside

The recipient of this year’s RAC RICS annual Fellowship in rural land management, chartered surveyor Rob Yorke, will present a paper he describes as highly topical and provocative paper New demands; old countryside at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester on Thursday, October 27 in the morning.

Rob, who is a Friend of the Guild, has interviewed industry leaders from farming, forestry, conservation NGOs, media, supermarkets, politicians and civil servants to produce a debate paper on topical matters facing the countryside in the future.

To book a place at the event (11am to 2.30pm; £28.50 including a copy of the report), visit the RAC’s website events page here.

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 Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) is recruiting for the HGCA communications team. There are two posts available – a full-time role and a one-year contract. They requiire people with varied communication skills to help deliver information to stakeholders in the arable sector from HGCA-funded research and the organisation's market intelligence, exports and business improvement teams.

Year Book updates

Update the new Year Book with contact details by checking the new member listings below and in the eAlerts Archive on the Guild website.

Jack Davies (right), former head of online content at Farmers Guardian's London office, has moved to a website copywriting agency in the city. His contact details are: Sticky Content, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH. Tel: 020 7704 3232. Email:

Shirley Heron of Ecosyl has decided to step down from the Guild now that her role has switched from communications to research.

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:

Bob Dow (left), group communications manager, ANM Group, Thainstone Centre, Thainstone, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire AB51 5XZ. Tel: 01467 623786 Mob: 07940 723791 Email:    Hannah Goodwin, senior account executive, Pinstone Communications Ltd, Unit 3 Owen Way, Leominster, Hereford HR6 0LA. Tel: 01568 617627 Mob: 07890 078027 Email:  

Sarah Lewis, freelance, Northwood Weston Jones, Newport, Shropshire TF10 8ED. Mob: 07964 038546 Email:

Ros Lloyd (right), communications manager, NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE. Tel: 01223 342200 Mob: 07711 568164 Email:   Gemma Mackenzie, livestock reporter, Farmers Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS. Tel: 0208 86524922 Mob: 07977 558217 Email:   Olivia Midgley, reporter, Farmers Guardian, Ludgate House, 245 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 9UY. Tel: 0207 9218520. Email:

Jo Mills, head of marketing, Royal Agricultural College, Stroud Road, Cirencester, Glos GLT 6JS. Tel: 01285 652531 Mob: 07968 429055 Email:   Matthew Morton (right), director, MG Communications Ltd, 2-3 Dines Farm, Hatherdon, Andover, Hants SP11 0HU. Tel: 01264 735594 Mob: 07771 515298 Email:   Clare Swaffer, editor, Milk Industry, 27 Castle Street, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2PX. Tel: 01795 542435 Mob: 07910 452061 Email:

Friends of the Guild

The following supporter has become a Friend of the Guild: Steve Punter (left), Steve Punter Photography, 115 The School House, Pages Walk, London SE1 4HG. Tel: 0207 2321071 Mob: 0776 6333435 Email:


At British Sugar, Robin Limb has taken on the role of Beet Review editor. Contact via the editor’s email address.

What's on the Guild website?

Two new pages added to the Awards section of the Guild website record the successes achieved by Guild members in the IFAJ's international awards programme and by individuals and publications in numerous awards presented by industry bodies in both agriculture and publishing.

On the website News pages ……

John Eveson takes runner-up IFAJ prize Livestock desk appointments at FG First smartphone news website launched Video broadcast win for Nancy Nicolson New member: Rachel Lovell New member: Gemma Mackenzie Retirement for lensman Dougie Low New member: Ros Lloyd New Guild award revealed at Dairy Event New member: Bob Dow New member: Ben Pike Angus MacDonald Pastures new for Ian Ashbridge

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


Join Us!

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

Guild News

Click here for the latest news.