IFAJ 2017 World Congress South Africa

Taking place between the 2nd and 8th of April 2017 in Gauteng- and the Western Cape. 
Click here for more information

IFAJ 2018 - The Netherlands

Theme: Dutch Roots

Main congress: 12- 15 July 2018

The main congress will start in the region Food Valley and further visits are planned to a diversity of hotspot in the Netherlands.



For more information: Esther Rozeboom – esther(at)catch-on.nl

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Sponsorship opportunities

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A Strategy to move IFAJ forward

The IFAJ Presidium has unveiled a major new ten-point plan to move the organisation forward during the next eight years.

The plan includes a complete revamp of the IFAJ website, creating a new part-time position for an Executive Secretary and building a global member database.

The presidium presented the plan and a timetable for implementation to the IFAJ Executive Committee at its annual January meeting, held in Berlin.

The executive discussed and approved the basic principles. National delegates representing affiliated countries have now been asked to take the plan back to their members for discussion and to gather feedback for the next Executive Committee meeting in September 2008.

"The organization is now more active and dynamic in serving member needs, but we need to continue to find new ways to serve the needs of members," Vice President Mike Wilson (USA) told the Berlin meeting.

President David Markey (Ireland) noted the IFAJ was experiencing growth in new regions of the world, such as South America, and predicted potential growth in Africa, Asia and eastern Europe.

"As new countries join the IFAJ, they will bring new needs for our organization to serve," he said. "We must also serve the changing needs of current members. Globalization means members will have changing needs and new technology, such as internet, email, e-newsletter and an electronic database, gives us new ways to solve these issues."

Markey said managing a global, yet all-volunteer organization such as IFAJ was no simple task. This was one reason why the Presidium plan provided funding for a parttime Executive Secretary to handle member needs such as press cards and dues payments, answer queries from members, meet with sponsors, and maintain a global member database to facilitate more efficient communication with members.

The Executive Secretary will also be responsible for updating country contact lists, organising regular meetings, and meeting with congress organizers and Messe Berlin (sponsors of the January executive meeting held during Green Week).

"Some of the ten points are achievable in the next year and some are aspirational – in other words, they are things we would like to achieve soon but are not sure if we have the resources now to develop them," Markey said.


Timeframe for completion

The timeframe for completion of the 10-point plan is ambitious.

A job description and application for the part-time executive secretary has been developed and was sent to executive committee members in February. An ad hoc committee made up of the Presidium, Rasmus Lang-Ree (Norway) and Dana Vecerová (Czech Republic) has been assigned to interview and hire for the position. "We hope to hire the new executive secretary by April," Wilson said.

Meanwhile a website briefing paper has been developed and sent out for bidding among website designers. "The project will be assigned by March and we hope to have a completely redesigned website by May 1, 2008," Wilson said.

The plan also proposes revamping brochures used to promote the organization. The IFAJ has already received sponsorship through Delaval for the brochures and their translation. They are expected to be designed and printed by May 1, 2008.

Another aspect of the plan is developing a new prize recognizing excellence in agricultural broadcasting. The new Star Prize for Agricultural Broadcasting is being developed by the IFAJ’s Professional Development Committee, with leadership from Great Britain’s Don Gomery. The IFAJ hopes to lock in a sponsor for the new award program and be ready to hold the first contest in 2009.

The plan also features a new mission statement for IFAJ: The purpose of IFAJ is to serve its individual members and offer a platform for professional development and international networking for agricultural journalists and communicators all over the world.


The ten-point plan

1. Individual presidium members will be assigned to ex-officio roles on the following committees: President - host country liaison; vice president – communications; general secretary – membership; treasurer – finance; past president – sponsorship strategy.

2. The current committee structure will be maintained. The Executive Committee, which is made up of delegates representing every affiliated country, will continue to serve in a leadership role. A job description will be created for committee members to make sure they are clear about their roll, including that they must attend and participate in IFAJ meetings held twice annually, and they must encourage members to attend congresses.

3. A part-time secretary will be appointed to take on some of the existing work currently undertaken by members of the presidium, implement new activities which the organization did not have the resources to carry out before, support the Presidium and committee chairs, and work with sponsors and country association secretaries.

4. The membership committee will be expanded and renamed the Membership Outreach and Benefits Committee to address not only membership recruitment and freedom-of-press strategies but also to manage and deliver ongoing benefits to individual members, such as press cards. The committee will identify target countries for expansion of the IFAJ.

5. The website will be modernised to better meet the needs of a global membership, including providing basic information about the organization in multiple languages and downloadable brochures. The website will include a photo section with freelance/pay options and useful contacts for ag journalists.

6. The finance committee will be dissolved with responsibilities given to the IFAJ treasurer who will organize a three-person subcommittee to focus on sponsorship and revenue raising. The past president will be responsible for developing a long-term sponsorship strategy.

7. The IFAJ awards program will be expanded, based on member feedback, to include a new Star Prize for Agricultural Broadcasting and a new livestock journalist contest, with the later sponsored by Alltech.

8. The IFAJ will explore pros and cons of holding press tours, particularly to countries that are not yet affiliated with the IFAJ, and mini professional development workshops. These will provide the IFAJ and IFAJ members with an opportunity to:

  • reach out to new regions of world
  • meet other journalists and build relationships
  • build IFAJ membership
  • report/interview for stories in regions where agriculture is important

9. New promotional brochures will be developed in multiple languages promoting IFAJ. They will form part of a package of materials (including the existing DVD) to be made available to potential sponsors or member countries. They will be produced in English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese and Russian.

10. An on-going database of members will be developed to better communicate direct with members and make membership fee billing more efficient. Because of variations in privacy legislation around the world, this issue would have to first be discussed and ratified by individual guilds.

The database would enable:

  • More efficient communication with global membership, especially delivery of the IFAJ E-News.
  • A tailored approach to communication, so that each guild association executive would still oversee communicating with members
  • A simplified treasurer/general secretary’s role
  • IFAJ to learn more about individual member needs and meet those needs with more targeted meetings, newsletter items, professional development activities, etc.