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Management Council

The Guild is managed by a volunteer council of 11 directors, appointed by members at the Annual General Meeting (usually held in March). The council supported by the Guild President and general secretary.

Directors are elected to represent the interests of members, retired members and friends of the guild, as well as deal with management matters and organise events and training for members. The full council typically meets four times a year at the Farmers’ Club in London, in addition to attending the Guild’s AGM.

The legal basis of the Guild as a Company Limited by Guarantee is detailed in the Guild’s Articles of Association. Additional rules concerning Guild membership and management are the contained in the Guild’s Byelaws.

The Guild council’s senior officers are the chairman and deputy chairman, who each serve a two-year term, and the Honorary Treasurer.

Each director/council member serves a term of no more than three years before they must either stand down or seek re-election at an Annual General Meeting. Under a rule introduced in 2011, they may serve for another two years before compulsorily standing down for 12 months, after which they can seek re-election if they wish.

Members can be invited to attend Council meetings in an advisory, non-executive role.

The Council can bestow  honorary membership on anyone who is not a member but has been of special service to the Guild, such as President.

A Guild Fellowship (FBGAJ) honours members who have given the organisation outstanding support and service. The five longest-serving Fellows of the Guild are appointed Senior Fellows; they are entitled to receive council meeting minutes and to attend council meetings if they chose to.

Our Senior Fellows are Arthur Anderson, Godfrey Brown, Denis Chamberlain and Eddie Gillanders.

Executive members of the Management Council


Ben Pike (Director)


The Chairman of the Guild chairs the regular meetings of the management council and steers policy and practical matters relating to all aspects of the organisation’s activities.

Ben is owner and director of Eve Communications – a marketing and communications consultancy he founded in 2016 for the food, farming, rural tourism and agribusiness industries. A graduate with a degree in multimedia journalism from Manchester University, Ben previously worked as the NFU’s agricultural publications editor.

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Deputy Chairman

Olivia Midgley (Director)


The deputy chairman’s role is to support the chairman and other office holders in all aspects of the Guild’s policies and activities and to oversee organisation of the annual Harvest Service and Lunch.

Olivia is editor of Farmers Guardian and has been a Guild member for more than 10 years.



Tom Hunt


The Guild’s Honorary Treasurer handles all financial transactions and record-keeping, and endeavours to ensure the Guild’s financial affairs are run prudently while working closely with other Council members to safeguard its finances.

Tom has been in marketing and PR since leaving Lancaster University in 2003. He is a director of Agribusiness Communications Ltd (ABC), which has been established since 1996. He joined the Guild in 2021 and the management Council in 2022. Tom first found farming when working for the Earl of Plymouth’s estate near Ludlow. He was influential in the farm to fork movement as sales and marketing manager for Ludlow Food Centre, one of the leading lights in farm retail. Today, he specialises in machinery PR working with tractor, ATV, tyre and farm machinery manufacturers.



Phil Case (Director)

The membership secretary handles new member recruitment, looks out for the general interests of all members and administers the Guild’s job advertising service.

Philip is chief reporter at Farmers Weekly, where he has worked for more than a decade, previously as arable reporter and news editor. Having worked on farms as a teenager in Lancashire, Phil went on to graduate with English and French degrees at Keele University, and a postgraduate diploma in newspaper journalism at UCLAN.

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Olivia Midgley (Director)


Tel: 07787 240750

With prize money totalling almost £15,000 annually thanks to generous support from our sponsors, the Guild’s awards programme celebrates members’ talents for storytelling, photography and PR.

Olivia is editor of Farmers Guardian and has been a Guild member for more than 10 years.

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Charitable Trust liaison

Geoff Dodgson

The Charitable Trust liaison officer is a conduit for regular communication between the chairman and other trustees overseeing the charity, and the directors and other members of the management council. The BGAJ Charitable Trust provides a listening ear, and both practical and financial support to present and past Guild members and their families in times of difficulty through illness, bereavement, old age and financial challenges.

Geoff owns Dodgson Consulting, a consultancy focused on strategic communications, reputation and crisis management within the UK agricultural industry. He is a trustee of several charities including the BGAJ Trust and the Agricultural Chaplain’s Association. He is an associate priest with the Papworth Team Ministry supporting 15 rural parishes in Cambridgeshire and was elected Guild Honorary Chaplain in 2016.


Communications – social media

Caroline Stocks (Director)


The communications secretary oversees the Guild’s social media content on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Caroline is a freelance journalist and agricultural communications consultant, specialising in global agricultural policy, agritech and livestock production. As well as supporting agricultural business around the world, she is editor of agritech news site Farming Future Food.


Communications – website and eAlerts

Rosie Williamson (Director)


The communications secretary oversees website and email updates content.

Rosie is an account director at agricultural PR and marketing agency Pinstone, overseeing a broad range of food and farming clients. Having grown up on her family’s mixed farm, Rosie studied agricultural business management at the University of Reading, before joining Pinstone as a graduate. After three years, she moved on to pastures new, launching a website aimed at start-up rural businesses, but has since returned to the business to service and grow its broad client base.

British Guild of Agricultural Journalists


Gaina Morgan

The events secretary takes responsibility for arranging member receptions for social and professional interaction at several agriculture and related events throughout the year.


IFAJ Representative

Olivia Cooper, FBGAJ (Director)


The IFAJ representative attends executive meetings of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists contributing the Guild’s view on policies, awards, the annual Congress and other matters.

Olivia started her career at Farmers Weekly, runs her own agri-communications business, Agri-hub, from Devon, and is managing editor of British Dairying. She is a past Chairman of the Guild (2020-2022) and long-time member.



Andy Newbold (Director)


The sponsorship secretary is responsible for the Guild’s commercial relationships with companies and organisations that support the awards, events and other activities of the Guild.

A chartered agricultural engineer, Andy is publisher and editor of Tillage & Soils, Precise, Agrimachinery.Trade and Cumbria Farm Business, and publisher of Landwards on behalf of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers. He also runs the National Sprayer Demonstration and is event manager for the Tillage-Live and ScotGrass working demonstrations.


Training & Personal Development

Rhian Price (Director)


The Guild offers numerous opportunities for members to obtain new skills or broaden existing abilities relating to writing, broadcasting and photography, both on-line and in-person.

Rhian spent 10 years working at Farmers Weekly – seven of them as livestock editor – after graduating from Cardiff University where she was awarded a postgraduate diploma in newspaper journalism. She grew up on a beef and sheep farm in South Wales and now lives in Shropshire with her husband on his family’s 280-cow dairy farm. In 2022, Rhian set up her own business specialising in agricultural journalism, PR and marketing.

Non-executive Members of Council



Baroness Mallalieu of Studdridge

The President supports the Guild with advice and acts as a sponsor for Guild’s President’s Event – a debate on a topical agricultural industry subject – held at the Palace of Westminster.

Baroness Ann Mallalieu QC, a lawyer who lives on a family farm in Somerset, is a Labour peer in the House of Lords and serves on the Land Use in England and Rural Economy committees. She is also President of the Countryside Alliance and lists agriculture, animals, food, and rural affairs among her policy interests.


Council Adviser

Jane Craigie, FBGAJ


Council advisors attend meetings so the directors can draw on their long experience of Guild matters.

Jane was until 2023 a long-serving director of the Guild, chairman 2013-2015 joint lead organiser of the Guild-hosted IFAJ Congress 2014. She is the founder and a director of Jane Craigie Marketing, specialising in agriculture and rural marketing/PR.

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Council Adviser

Peter Hill, FBGAJ


Council advisors attend meetings so the directors can draw on their long experience of Guild matters.

A member of the Guild’s management council for many years, Peter is a trustee of the BGAJ Charitable Trust and a freelance journalist specialising in agricultural machinery technical and international trade topics.


General Secretary

Nikki Robertson

Tel: 07584 022909 (9.15am to 3pm, Monday to Thursday)


The general secretary handles all administrative matters and plays a key role in organising the Annual General Meeting, Harvest Service and Harvest Lunch.

Non-Council roles

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Revd Geoff Dodgson


Tel: 07710 379561

In addition to playing a key role in organising the annual Harvest Service at St Brides Church in Fleet Street, London, the Guild’s Honorary Chaplain is available to offer a confidential, listening ear when needed.

Geoff owns Dodgson Consulting, a consultancy focused on strategic communications, reputation and crisis management within the UK agricultural industry. He is a trustee of several charities including the BGAJ Trust and the Agricultural Chaplain’s Association. He is an associate priest with the Papworth Team Ministry supporting 15 rural parishes in Cambridgeshire and was elected Guild Honorary Chaplain in 2016.

Communications Officer

Alice Staniford


The Communications Officer puts the Guild’s comms programme into action, updating the website, sending out e-newletters, and posting job advertisements, while also managing the social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. This is a part-time paid role.

Appointed in 2023, Alice is director of the digital marketing and strategy agency Staniford Associates, and also a relief milker in her home county of Devon.


ENAJ Representative

Adrian Bell, FBGAJ


The Guild’s representative to the European Network of Agricultural Journalists attends ENAJ executive meetings and is involved in the organisation of low-cost media tours and other events when hosted in Britain.

A past Chairman of the Guild, Adrian was involved in the formation of ENAJ and is an enthusiastic advocate of international links between rural journalists, broadcasters and photographers around the world through IFAJ, where he is treasurer; he was joint lead organiser of the Guild-hosted IFAJ Congress 2014. He is the founder and director of AgroMavens, an agricultural and marketing agency.


Midlands Group Secretary

Liz Snaith


The Midlands group organises a number of meetings, seminars and discussion meetings to which all members are invited.

A former director of the Guild, Liz runs her own PR and communications consultancy focused on livestock, agri-business and food.


Organiser – Burns Night Supper and Royal Highland Show reception

Eddie Gillanders, FBGAJ


A traditional dinner celebrating Burns Night and a drinks reception plus three-course buffet at the Highland Show provide convivial get-togethers for Guild journalists, photographers and PR specialists.

A long-time member of the Guild, Eddie – ably assisted by his wife Marion – is Publishing Editor of the Scottish magazine Farm North East.

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Subscriptions Manager

Peter Hill, FBGAJ


The subscriptions manager handles the administration of direct debit payments, membership records and new member applications. This is a part-time paid role.