The Association of German Agricultural Journalists—VDAJ-Communication Agrar—has elected Katrin Fischer from Hannover, deputy editor-in-C=chief and head of the Plant and Technology Department at agrarheute, and Dr. Michael Lohse from Berlin, communications consultant and moderator, as dual leaders. They followed Katharina Seuser, who had been chairwoman of VDAJ for the last 15 years.
Gudrun Koeck from Stuttgart, editor of the agricultural weekly newspaper BWagrar, and Daniel Rittershaus, head of the personnel and communication department of the United Hagel VVaG, were elected as representatives of the dual leadership.
Katrin Fischer’s career as an agricultural journalist began in 2012 as an editor at dlz agrarmagazin. In 2015 she moved to BWagrar in Stuttgart, where she was appointed deputy editor-in-chief in 2017. She has been Head of the Plant and Technology Department since August 2019 and deputy editor-in-chief at agrarheute since July 2020.
Fischer has been a member of the VDAJ since the beginning of the 2010s. In 2017 she was elected 2nd deputy chairwoman of the Bavarian State Group and, in 2020, chairwoman.
“Standing still is a step backwards—it is therefore important to look ahead and to consistently drive the association’s development forward,” Fischer said. “The young agricultural journalists are particularly close to my heart. For them, the VDAJ should be a modern platform to make contacts, be it nationally or internationally, professionally or out of the box. At the same time, personal and professional training opportunities are to be offered in order to implement or develop new ways of agricultural communication. “
Dr. Michael Lohse began his career in agricultural communication as press spokesman for VDLUFA in Darmstadt and as head of public relations and advertising at K + S in Kassel. From 1992 to 2018 he was the press spokesman for the German Farmers’ Association. After completing his doctorate and entering professional life, Lohse joined the VDAJ and was initially involved in the Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate state group and since 2000 in the Berlin/Brandenburg/Saxony state group, which elected him as chairman in 2019.
“The major changes in media work and information behavior require constant professional development in agricultural communication as well. We will consistently break new ground and create attractive offers so that the VDAJ supports and strengthens its members in overcoming these challenges. In doing so, we will not lose sight of the relevance of the VDAJ for politics and business, ”said Lohse after the election.
Gudrun Koeck has been writing about agriculture in Baden-Württemberg as an editor at BWagrar Landwirtschaftliches Wochenblatt and Schwäbischer Bauer for 28 years and is also responsible for the next generation of journalists as a training editor. She is particularly interested in topics related to animal husbandry and stories about people and farms. Koeck has been a member of the VDAJ since February, and chairwoman of the Baden-Württemberg state group since 2011. In 2020 she was elected 2nd chairwoman of the VDAJ.
“It is a matter close to my heart to offer our young colleagues in the editorial offices and PR departments offers from which they benefit professionally and privately and which ultimately inspire them to become a member of our association,” Koeck said.
Daniel Rittershaus worked after training at the Agricultural Center of Bayer AG and studying agriculture in Gießen at ADG Montabaur in the area of personnel development for rural cooperatives, before moving to the United Hagel in Gießen as Head of Personnel and Communication in 2009. Rittershaus has been active in the VDAJ and VDL for a long time. In April 2019 he was elected second chairman of the Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland regional group.
“I’m looking forward to working with the board of directors. Here I would like to contribute my experience in the field of corporate communication, PR, trade fairs, etc.,” said Rittershaus.
Katharina Seuser elected as honorary chairwoman of VDAJ
Dr. Katharina Seuser headed the VDAJ from 2006 to 2021. From 2004 to 2019 she was chairwoman of the Bonn regional group, from 2002 to 2006 chairwoman of the advisory committee. She also represents the VDAJ in the international networks IFAJ and ENAJ.
“I am very pleased that the VDAJ now has a strong board team with Katrin Fischer and Michael Lohse, Gudrun Koeck and Daniel Rittershaus,” said the outgoing VDAJ chairwoman. “This will increase the visibility of the association and be perceived as a new beginning.”
At the suggestion of the VDAJ board of directors, the general assembly elected Katharina Seuser as honorary chairwoman.