Supporting Our Japanese Colleagues

Iurii Mykhailov

Agricultural journalism colleagues in Ukraine took a new, heartfelt approach to support Japanese colleagues continuing to rebuild after the tsunami.

Ukrainian guild members created a very special issue of the AgroProfi, the Ukrainian Business Weekly, and donated their freelance fees to support their Japanese colleagues. They’ve raised nearly 1,000 euros.

But not only did the guild raise funds for the effort, they invested a great deal of time and creativity to support their colleagues- which says even more about their willingness to aid others in a time of need. This is a true showcase of the strong bonds among agricultural journalists worldwide.

To see this special news issue online visit:

Balkan Tour 2012 - Serbia

The Serbian Association of Agricultural Journalists, AGROPRESS, is organizing the second workshop for foreign journalists covering agriculture. The 2012 Balkan is planned for Serbia, May 16-21, 2012.This workshop will present agricultural aspects of Serbia to the World, and promote and highlight potentials of companies and individuals dealing with agricultural production in Serbia. Participants will visit various company production plants and headquarters, as well as farms, that will inform and familiarize journalists with Serbian brands.

Serbia is increasingly exporting agricultural products beyond country borders and working to increase export volumes and investments in agriculture. Serbian agriculture traditionally makes trade surplus and ensures a stabile economy. In 2010, agricultural exports of the Republic surpassed 3 billion dollars.

Participants will tour Belgrade, Novi Sad, Valjevo, among other places. Registration is limited so sign up early. Registration fees are 300 EUR per person and for regional journalists the cost is 200 EUR (ex-Yugoslav republics: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia). English is the official tour language.

Traveling expenses, food and accommodation during the program, from the arrival at the hotel on May 16th through hotel departure on May 21, are covered by the participation fee. Traveling expenses to and from Serbia, as well as additional expenses are not included. Extended staying and additional tours are optional, upon request.

For more details visit

New Zealand Guild Launches New Website

Stephen Cadogan

The New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators has launched a new website. Visit to learn about the guild’s latest award winners in New Zealand agri-journalism. See the photo which won Dominion Post photographer Phil Reid the 2011 Federated Farmers Rural Photography Award showing farmers rescuing lambs in floods.

Also read about freelance journalist Hugh de Lacyyear earning the top award for agricultural writers for his articles which appeared in MG Business focusing on far-reaching changes in the New Zealand wool industry and on doing business with China.

Website visitors can also learn more about Jon Morgan’s 2011 Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year win.

About IFAJ News

We want to share your Guild’s news in the IFAJ News. Send news or article ideas to editor Karlie 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 November 2011

Cultivating IFAJ’s Next Generation

By Mike Wilson
IFAJ President

Planning ahead is important for everyone, including the IFAJ. The IFAJ leadership team will review a strategic plan for the future during our business meeting in January.

But regardless of where the organization is pointed, I know we are in good hands.

I saw that with confidence, because I’m energized by the young journalists we get to meet at IFAJ activities around the world. Earlier this year IFAJ had a press tour organized by the Serbian guild, which is made up mostly of young people. It was refreshing to talk with them and hear their views on our profession and agriculture.

It was an inspiration to be around young people who continue to refine their skills even in uncertain economic circumstances.

I got the same feeling when I met the 2011 class of journalists participating in the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism program at this year’s IFAJ Congress, in Canada.

Despite language and cultural differences, this group of 10 professionals – all under the age of 35 – quickly formed into a tight-knit group of colleagues who care about each other, the future of our profession, and the future of IFAJ.

The Young Leader program, for those of you who may not be aware, began six years ago with the simple idea that IFAJ needed to recognize young professionals and help them become more engaged in our world organization.  Since then the program has brought nearly 50 young journalists to congress events. This year we added a ‘boot camp,’ a two-day workshop, to help the winners develop professionally. We expect the program to continue in Sweden in 2012. Look for details at

As I looked around the room at the awards banquet in Canada, I saw a lot of bright, young faces – the faces of people who will become the new leaders of IFAJ someday (see photo). They will also no doubt lead our profession as we face new challenges in coming years.

On my university where I graduated “just” 30 years ago, there is a statue with the words, “To thy happy children of the future, those of the past send greetings.” No matter where you are on the career ladder, we are all connected. Each of us learn every day how to become better, more passionate communicators.

To our younger members with fire in your belly, welcome to the IFAJ; we can use your bright new ideas, your enthusiasm, your energy. To my colleagues caught up in the peak of our careers, let’s remember to help and mentor these folks. Doing so is a way to give something back to your profession. A few words of encouragement can go a long way.

IFAJ needs to cultivate its future leaders, just as a farmer needs to make wise choices about the future of his or her business. This next generation gives IFAJ a greater sense of purpose.

Go talk to a young journalist. I guarantee you, the enthusiasm is contagious.

Australian Writer Pip Courtney Dedicates IFAJ Broadcast Award to late husband

Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists

Experienced Queensland ABC television journalist Pip Courtney was meant to be in Canada to represent Australia at the major international awards ceremony for media working in the rural sector. But she cancelled the trip after her husband and ABC cameraman John Bean was killed in a helicopter crash in the South Australian outback earlier this month, along with two other colleagues. So hearing that she had won the IFAJ Star Prize for Broadcast Journalism was a bitter sweet moment for Courtney who dedicated the honor to her late husband.

“I am thrilled and honored to win this award,” Pip says. “It’s an important story in Australia and I am very grateful my employer, the ABC, gave me the time to research and shoot such a complex piece.

“The story was filmed over several months and I was lucky enough to shoot most of it with my husband cinematographer John Bean."

“John was a brilliant cameraman and a delight to work with – producing great pictures for his journos and putting the talent so at ease that we always came away with more then we planned.

“He was my biggest supporter – my greatest fan – if things had been different he’d be in our home in Australia right now tweeting, facebooking texting and phoning everyone he knew to tell them about the wonderful news.

“Thank you to the IFAJ for the wonderful job you do. I returned from Texas two years ago renewed as a journalist. I had a swag of new friends and felt a member of a big new family I hadn’t realized existed.

“You honor me with this award, but I’d like to honor my husband by dedicating it to his memory.”

Encouraging Colleagues to Apply for IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Award

Lisa Guenther

This past September, I was one of 12 recipients of the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Award. Along with a travel scholarship, for the first time the award included an extra professional development component.

I don’t have enough room in this report to describe how valuable I found the professional development and networking opportunities this award provided. I can only say that because of the Young Leaders program and the Congress, I was inspired to readjust my personal career goals. As well, our group of Young Leaders forged strong bonds, and I’m sure that these connections will serve us well as we advance in our careers and within IFAJ.

I believe that this leadership program is valuable for the applicants that are chosen each year, and for IFAJ as a whole. We need leaders at every level, and future leaders need support from the organization. For this reason, I’ve decided to help by serving as a liaison between the IFAJ executive and Young Leader alumni.

Anyone who has received the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Award in the past is encouraged to join the Facebook group. You’ll find it by searching for “IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Alumni.” If you are already a member of the group, and you have friends on Facebook that have won this award in the past, please encourage them to join as well. We will be posting information to this group, and may ask for your input on the program from time to time.

If you know of people within your guild who have leadership potential and are eligible for the award, please encourage them to apply. We need a strong group of applicants for this program to be successful.  Full contest rules are available at (link to>

More Congress Follow up

Want to know more about the IFAJ Canadian Congress activities? Follow up stories, photos and interviews are available at

New Media- New Life for Rural Radio

Jim Evans
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center

Rural radio can dramatically boost knowledge and adoption, especially within active rather than passive listening communities.

That's what Kevin Perkins, executive director of Farm Radio International, reported during his presentation at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress in Canada during September. Findings came from research among rural listeners in five African nations.

And how are cell phones and the Internet affecting rural radio?  They are making radio more interactive, Perkins explained.  "The new media are giving new life to radio."

View his presentation visuals here.

Also, view a report of five case studies about "active listening communities" and how they boosted the uptake of agricultural improvements.

Please send the ACDC other examples and thoughts about how to form active listening communities in any country to docctr(at)

Stay up to date on Congress 2012

Karlie Elliott Bowman
IFAJ News Editor

Follow all the Congress preparations as organizers plan for the 2012 IFAJ Congress in Sweden. Swedish organizers have information now available on Facebook, Twitter and their website. Like “IFAJ 2012” on Facebook, follow on Twitter @ifaj2012 and visit the event website regularly to learn more.Remember, registration opens February 10. The 2012 Congress is August 15-19.

A special thanks to all Congress organizers for their dedication.