IFAJ congress and tours

Discounted registrations for the IFAJ Congress and study tours in Canada next September open January 15.  IFAJ members who look forward to taking advantage of this unique opportunity
Should start making plans now.  The event is effectively divided into three parts, with the pre-Congress tours, theCongress itself, which comprises receptions, delegate meetings and a choice of three tour programs visiting farms and other rural businesses, and post-Congress tours.
Full details of the pre- and post-Congress tours and the Congress program, including tours to the Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Huron areas, which all start in Guelph and end at Niagara Falls, are available on the www.IFAJ2011.org website.
Many thanks to all the organizers who have put together a remarkable program offering a once-in-a-lifetime look at Canadian rural life and IFAJ.

Passing of rural broadcaster Colin Munro

By Liz Harfull, President of the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists

Long-standing Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists president and veteran rural broadcaster Colin Munro passed on November 29 morning at the age of 70.
Munro was an enormous supporter of IFAJ and the ACAJ, and was a huge part of the effort which established the ACAJ and brought the IFAJ congress to Australian shores in the 1980s and again in 2000. 
Many IFAJ members may have met him at the Australian events, and since then at the South African congress.
In 2007, Munro was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his service to regional Australia through the promotion and preservation of rural culture, particularly through television and radio.
Munro, a famous Australian broadcaster, worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for more than 40 years before retiring in 2005.
He retired as ACAJ president in 2005 as well.

AGROPRESS honors members

The AGROPRESS Association of Agricultural Journalists in Serbia marked its sixth anniversary with awards for its most active members in 2010.  Recipients included Svetlana Djurovic of the  Tanjug agency; Goran Veljkovic of the Domacin TV show; and Slavisa Dabiziljevic of the Otkos TV show.

Issue December 2010

Happy Holidays! Welcome to the December edition of the IFAJ News.

It is a pleasure to share news with you in this last issue for the 2010 year.  In this newsletter we share recent updates from member guilds, information about new professional development pieces, IFAJ member news and upcoming events. As always, thank you to those who sent in news and please continue to do so.  Send your news to me at any time, but for the next issue please send it by January 10.

Karlie Elliott Bowman
Editor, IFAJ News
kelliott3(at)gmail.com

Helping tackle issues facing the rural poor

By Jim Evans, Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, University of Illinois

"My aim is to ensure that the aspirations of poor, emarginated and disadvantaged people are properly and successfully voiced to the governmental authorities", explains award-winning Egyptian journalist Amr Ellissy.

In a new professional development feature on the IFAJ website, this 2010 recipient of the UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication explains his innovative journalistic approach. He not only informs through his television and print reporting.  He also works with governmental authorities and civil society organizations to find solutions to social problems in rural areas.
Read more

FarmWeek reporter receives honors at prestigious guild awards night

FarmWeek reporter Chris McCullough on left receives awards for best story and best photo from Irish Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith, right. Also included are Brian Donaldson, all Ireland guild chairman and Christine Lombard, guild member.

By Chris McCullough, FarmWeek

Northern Ireland guild member Chris McCullough scooped no less than two awards at the prestigious Irish Guild awards night held in the AIB headquarters in Dublin in November, beating out stiff competition from a huge number of worthy entries.

McCullough is a reporter with Belfast based FarmWeek weekly newspaper and won the best local media category with his exclusive story entitled Why?  This was an in-depth interview with a farmer who had lost his entire cattle herd after it had been infected with a foetus carrying brucellosis that someone maliciously dumped in his field among the cattle. This was the second time, and probably the last, that the farmer's herd had to be destroyed through no fault of his own.
McCullough also won the best photo award for an elevated shot of combines working in a field in County Meath, Ireland, during the Guinness World Record attempt to have the largest number of combines working in one field. At that event the Irish broke the record with 175 combines working in the same field at the same time.
McCullough said: "It was a great honour to have my work recognised in this way. FarmWeek strives to investigate and report the real stories in farming and bring them to the readers. The man who lost his herd was devastated and wanted to tell his story. It was a good find for me and for FarmWeek.
"The winning photo was taken from an elevated telehandler during the Guinness World record attempt near Duleek in County Meath where 175 combines worked simultaneously in the same field. I was in the right place at the right time to get as many of the combines in the one shot as I could.  The awards night was a very successful one for me personally and for FarmWeek," said McCullough.

AGROPRESS celebrates 6th anniversary

The Serbian Association of Agricultural Journalists AGROPRESS, celebrated its 6th Anniversary.  More than 200 journalists, representatives of diplomatic corps, partner organizations, educational institutions, managers of companies and friends of AGROPRESS attended.

The Association of Agricultural Journalists AGROPRESS is an NGO striving to revitalize and improve life in the countryside, as well as to educate journalists and agricultural producers.  AGROPRESS became a member of IFAJ in 2006.
President of the Board of Directors Goran Djakovic recalled the Association’s activities over the past six years, in which more than 90 events were organized throughout the country and abroad.  Djakovic recollected that AGROPRESS organized the very first Fair of Women Entrepreneurs in Agribusiness and hosted five professional conferences in which more than 1200 domestic and international experts participated.
Djakovic also announced the establishment of the Fund for Promotion of Serbian Agriculture in and out of the country, and marked it as an important project, as 60 foreign journalists will attend in May.
Djakovic said, "AGROPRESS will continue its work on the project Women Entrepreneurs in Agribusiness, as well as on a new project – high quality magazine destined to professional agricultural producers."
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Sasa Dragin said that journalists have significantly contributed to development of Serbian agriculture over the past years and gave thanks to AGROPRESS for activities implemented through projects for development of entrepreneurship and affirmation of agricultural professionalization.

Dragin said, "If AGROPRESS didn’t exist, it should be invented!" Furthermore, he added: "We expect that this year agriculture should score an exportation value of three billion American dollars, and that international trade surplus should be around a billion dollars. That is a billion more from the agricultural sector to the Serbian budget, and this money will directly go to countryside and agricultural producers who will help the economy. I am also proud to see that in this year’s Progress Report the European Commission has valued that Serbia has made a significant step forward in the agricultural and rural development sector, food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, and that it is going towards the EU standards."