[Lexington, KY] – Alltech and the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists have announced that they will once again partner to present the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Award in conjunction with the 2012 annual IFAJ Congress to be held at Sånga Säby near Stockholm, Sweden August 15 – 19, 2012. Alltech and IFAJ have been partners in the award program since its inception in 2006.
The award is a travel scholarship that recognizes the leadership potential of 10 young members each year from countries belonging to IFAJ, and supports their participation at the annual IFAJ Congress.
“This award contributes to the future of IFAJ by encouraging young journalists to grow into leaders in the industry,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “But more importantly, it nurtures future leaders who possess the talent that is so critical in communicating the messages and stories of agriculture that are becoming increasingly important worldwide.”
In addition to providing the recipients of the award with the opportunity to attend the annual congress, the partnership between Alltech and IFAJ will support their participation in an intensive boot camp-style workshop.This activity will provide the young journalists with expert training and feedback through on-site writing or broadcasting assignments and further develop their leadership skills through formal in-class training. The Young Leaders will participate in this workshop alongside IFAJ’s Master Class participants, who are part of a separate program of specially selected participants from developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
This will mark the second year for the boot camp workshop, which debuted in conjunction with the 2011 IFAJ Congress in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Participants of the 2011 workshop responded with positive reviews and suggestions to develop the program further. Based on their feedback, the program will continue to enhance its offerings for personal and professional development. Former young leaders who participated in the 2011 workshop are also taking an active role in the continued development of the program, providing leadership for the 2012 program and continuing to engage past participants through social media.
“The young leader program is so important in the development of new leaders for the future of our profession,” says Mike Wilson, President, IFAJ. “Agriculture is a dynamic and important industry. The ability to communicate about agriculture, to farmers as well as consumers, is a vital skill and profession that needs to be nurtured. The young people who participate in this program will be leading the IFAJ and our industry as we face the challenges of feeding 9 billion people by 2050.”
As a part of their learning experience, award winners will write a story or record a news spot about their experience at the IFAJ Congress. Their stories will be made available to the general media and posted on the IFAJ website. Mentors will be assigned to the young leaders to work with them throughout the congress and guide them through their program.
Judges for this year’s award are 2010 recipient Jesus Lopez Colmenarejo of Spain, and IFAJ executive committee member Riitta Mustonen of Finland. Competition coordinator is IFAJ Secretary General Owen Roberts of Canada.
Conceived at the IFAJ 2005 meeting in Switzerland by Alltech and federation officials, the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Award has contributed to the professional and personal development of more than 40 budding journalists from around the world.
Founded by Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech is a global animal health and nutrition company with 32 years’ experience in developing natural products that are scientifically proven to enhance animal health and performance. With 2800 employees in 128 countries, the company has developed a strong regional presence in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle-East, Africa and Asia. For further information, visit www.alltech.com. For media assets, visit www.alltech.com/press.
About the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists
IFAJ is a non-political, professional association for more than 5,000 agricultural journalists in 31 countries. It serves as a platform for communication, information and professional development for agricultural journalists from all over the world.
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