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Applications Open For 2019 IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Award

The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) has opened the application process for the 2019 IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Award. Each of IFAJ’s 50 member guilds may submit one nominee for the prestigious award, which recognizes outstanding young journalists who demonstrate great potential to become leaders in the agricultural journalism industry.

Ten young journalists—age 35 or younger by December 31, 2018—are selected by an international jury for the prize, which includes a 1,000-Euro stipend to attend the 2019 IFAJ Congress in Minnesota, USA, in July. The Young Leaders also participate in a Boot Camp in the days prior to Congress, which includes farm visits in Minnesota as well as professional development and networking workshops.

“The importance of strong journalism in communicating agriculture’s truth in today’s world cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. “We are proud to support the next generation of journalists who are passionate about sharing the real stories of the farm and field, and the men and women who work tirelessly to feed our planet.”

The IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Award was established in 2006 by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and Alltech to recognize emerging leaders in agricultural journalism and communications from around the world.

The IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders program is a key force in developing the next generation of volunteers for IFAJ and its member guilds, notes Steve Werblow, IFAJ secretary general.

“Over the past 13 years, the IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders program has helped build the careers of many outstanding journalists and communicators, and has also helped build IFAJ,” Werblow says. “Throughout the world, alumni of the Young Leaders program have become deeply involved in their guilds, and several now serve on IFAJ’s Executive committee or play other essential roles in the organization through their enthusiastic involvement.”

The online application is available here. Individual applications must be completed by February 8, 2019 by journalists in good standing in IFAJ member guilds. Those applications will be forwarded to each applicant’s guild; each guild will select its nominee and submit his or her application by February 22, 2018.

Applications must include three samples of work. Nominees must be willing to attend Congress and Boot Camp. Boot Camp will be conducted in English. For complete rules, visit the IFAJ website at

Oonagh O'Mahony of the 2018 Young Leader class interviews a Dutch farmer as part of last year's Young Leaders/Master Class Boot Camp.