Congress 2012 quickly approaching

IFAJ colleagues traveling to Sweden for the 2012 Congress should visit for updated information. Remember, this year’s Congress is August 15-19 at the conference centre near lake Mälaren, 35 km west of Stockholm Central station. For information about arriving in Stockholm visit

Clean Up Audio From Iphone Interviews

Truffle Media Network &
Christopher S. Penn
United States

Christopher S. Penn provides a short and simple "how to" video on improving interviews recorded on your iPhone. Visit for this how to.

Farm Radio and Internet Most Used Daily Ag Media

Jim Evans
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center
United States

That finding came through in a recent national survey of U.S. farmers and ranchers. Ag Media Research developed the survey that was administered during late 2011 within a representative national sample of 1,504 farmers and ranchers with gross farm incomes of at least $100,000.

A news release added to the ACDC collection indicates:
•    On a daily basis, farm radio and the Internet (accessed from home/office) are the two most-used agri-media channels.
•    Those choosing either radio or the Internet as their first choice, farm television was the preferred second daily information source.
•    Among information sources used at all (not specific to daily or any time frame), farm-title publications – newspapers and magazines – garnered the highest numbers.
•    Use of mobile Internet access – via hand-held devices including smart phones – engaged less than 25 percent of all surveyed producers.
•    Respondents expressed high levels of trust in their primary information providers. More than 60 percent reported tuning in to a specific radio station or stations for their farm information.

Read the release at:

About IFAJ News

Share your Guild’s news in the IFAJ News. Send news or article ideas to editor Karlie Elliott Bowman at k.elliott.bowman(at) Never let language be a hurdle for sending ideas or news items. Feel free to respond in your native language and we will work together to share your news items.

Also, be sure to share IFAJ News with your colleagues. Encourage them to visit to subscribe. IFAJ News is a publication of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists. IFAJ gives agricultural journalists and communicators a platform for professional development and international networking. To learn more about IFAJ visit our website at If you have questions about IFAJ, please do not hesitate to contact our executive secretary Connie Siemes, at P.O. Box 205, 6920 AE Duiven, The Netherlands, Ph 0031 573 451975, e-mail: secretary(at) You can also follow IFAJ on Twitter @IFAJ, and you can find us on Facebook.

IFAJ News July 2012

A hearty thanks and farewell

Mike Wilson

IFAJ President

United States

As they say, all good things must come to an end. By this time next month, IFAJ will enter a new era. For me, my journey as president will end with a new election, a new presidium, and a new set of challenges for the IFAJ executive committee and every member interested in the future of global Ag communications.

As I look back over the past 12 years, I marvel at the tremendous change this organization has gone through. When I was elected vice president in Australia in 2000, we had little money and were mostly focused on our immediate needs. Then things started changing when we organized the executive committee into grass roots sub committees in Ireland in 2003. Under the leadership of Hans Matthiesen and later, David Markey, we began to focus on building our finances and making the organization more relevant to its members. The organization is now in the position to invest in a new global strategic plan designed to make us even more “international” than we are now.

One of the greatest thrills for me has been working with other like-minded individuals to come up with good ideas, and then watching those ideas become reality...ideas such as the IFAJ photo contest, first launched in 2003 in The Netherlands; a revamped IFAJ web page, launched in 2008; the Alltech Young-Leader Boot camp, launched in 2011; the Master Class, first launched in Belgium and continuing in Canada and next month in Sweden; the IFAJ Broadcast and Yara awards, the monthly e-newsletter, and the hiring of a part-time executive secretary.

And to think we did all of this with mostly all volunteer service! I want to pay tribute to the members of the Executive Committee who served during my term of office. Thank you for your commitment, and thanks to members of this presidium, Markus Rediger, Owen Roberts and James Campbell. They have served this organization with dedication and enthusiasm beyond the call of duty. Each time I asked them for advice, I got prompt and honest feedback, which usually spurred a thoughtful discussion. I also want to recognize executive secretary Connie Siemes for helping us stay organized and moving the organization forward. For those countless hours spent in Berlin, at Congress, on skype and email discussing the best interests of the organization, thank you!

IFAJ congresses provided some of the best memories. That said, IFAJ also faced some difficult times. Think about the 9/11 terrorist attack during the 2001 Congress in Finland, the ash cloud that closed so many airports in Belgium in 2010, and the loss of dear friends Anna Orzechowska and Don Gomery. For my part, I missed the 2004 South African Congress because I was going through chemotherapy treatment; that week, I got a call from South Africa from IFAJ friends, offering me get well wishes. For a cancer survivor, those are the kinds of memories that stick with you.

I am confident IFAJ will continue to grow and become more relevant, not only to current members but also to the international Ag communications profession as a whole. I believe there is much more we can do for our profession worldwide. For as many stars as we can see in the IFAJ universe now, there are at least that many stars we have yet to discover.

To our younger members: keep sharing your bright new ideas. Keep learning from each other. Take a moment to appreciate your profession. It is an honorable career that brings communities together and builds the common good.

To my friends in mid-career, use your experiences to help define our future vision. And to you folks who have served so many years as our mentors, thank you for sharing your wisdom and helping to shape our careers… and more important, to teach us that it is better to work to live, than to live to work.

The IFAJ faces many barriers – distance, finance, culture, and language, to name a few. When we all speak the universal language of friendship and cooperation, there is little that can stop us from achieving our goals. Thank you, everyone!

Swiss Agriculture Journalists elect new president

Markus Rediger
Vice President IFAJ

Swiss Agricultural Journalists (SAJ) recently elected Roland Wyss president during their general meeting in Geneva.

Outgoing SAJ president, Adrian Krebs, said, “The past nine years in no small part thanks to the agricultural journalists were extremely informative, enriching, and inspiring to me.”

New president, Roland Wyss, is chief editor of Alimenta, the professional journal of the food industry. Wyss aims to continue focusing on member needs and retaining continuity in its programs.

Also elected during the meeting were David Eppenberger and Claire Muller. Alain Douard and Adrian Krebs are also serving board members.

The general topic of the delegate assembly was “Agriculture in Canton, Geveva.” François Erard, the CEO of the Geneva Chamber of Agriculture, gave an overview of agriculture of Canton, whose border shares only 6 km with Switzerland but 103 km with France. Agriculture in Geneva is mainly focused on the needs of the city. Programs aim to market local products to consumers, and trademark “Genève Region Terre Avenir” and the cooperative “Jardin de Cogagne.”

New Zealand Farmer Earns Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year

A Hawkes Bay farmer who become a strong commentator on agriculture and agricultural sciences, was named the 2012 Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year by the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators.
Steve Wyn-Harris began his farming career in 1985 when he bought 180 hectares. Today, he and his wife now farm 350ha. The properties carry high performance breeding ews, bull beef and forestry.

Steve has won a number of farming awards over the years, but it was for his commentaries about farming, farming industries and agricultural sciences that he took the Communicator of the Year Award. He is a broadcaster with his own local radio show and is a regular on national radio, as well as a longstanding columnist. He currently contributes to the NZ Farmers Weekly.
Guild President, Jon Morgan, said Steve is a worthy recipient.  His columns, comments, and presentations cover an extensive range of topics, but his style remains the same, relaxed, whimsical and often humorous.

Morgan said, “He (Steve) is widely respected as an excellent farmer, but has that rare gift of communications that crosses all areas of rural life.”

Ulster Ag Journalists dine out

Tony O'Neill, centre, Moy Park Poultry director and chair Northern Ireland Agri Food Strategy Board at the June Guild of Agricultural Journalists dinner in Belfast. Dr Tom Morrow, left Guild Treasurer and Sam Butler, chairman weclomed guests. Earlier Guild members had toured two NI centres of global excellence, the AFBI plant breeding centre at Loughgall and Moy Park's technical development site in Craigavon. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Tony O'Neill, center, Moy Park Poultry director and chair of the Northern Ireland Agri Food Strategy Board attended the June Guild of Agricultural Journalists dinner in Belfast. Dr. Tom Morrow, left, Guild Treasurer and Sam Butler, chairman welcomed guests.

During the event guild members toured two Northern Ireland centers of global excellence, the AFBI plant breeding centre at Loughgall and Moy Park's technical development site in Craigavon. Photo by Cliff Donaldson.