The pandemic has dominated our existence for almost a year now. It has restricted our daily lives and work, but also highlighted the importance of farming and food production. When things are getting normal again, society will hopefully have more focus on agriculture, which also puts new demands on and offers more possibilities to us as agricultural journalists and communicators.
The pandemic has also stopped us from meeting in real life for a long time. As I think many of you already are aware of, there won’t be any in-person IFAJ Congress this year either. Due to the consequences of COVID-19 the Danish guild eventually had to cancel their Congress even in 2021 and are now planning for a Congress in Denmark 2022.
IFAJ’s Executive committee has also decided to change the Congress schedule. This means that the Congress in 2023 will be in Canada, 2024 in Switzerland, 2025 Israel, 2026 Kenya and 2027 in Croatia. We thank the Danes for their persistence, the Swiss for being so flexible and all the future Congress organizers for showing solidarity.
Instead of an in-person congress we will arrange an eCongress Monday, 21 June, to Wednesday, 23 June, 2021. The planning has started, and it is meant to include both professional development sessions as well as social activities. If you want to participate in the organizing work, you are welcome to contact our Global office.
Not having an in-person Congress for several years is a new situation for IFAJ. Our Host Liaison & Congress committee is going to evaluate what we can learn from this and develop in the future. I’m not going to precede its work, but with people getting more used to digital events, there could be new possibilities to attend and conduct future Congresses and meetings. But having written this, I’m fully aware of the social importance Congresses and other events also have. We will sure meet in-person as soon as it’s possible.
Until then, stay safe, wash your hands and maintain physical distance. But don’t forget to keep in contact with your IFAJ colleagues and friends through digital channels and social media.
And as Vera Lynn sang during other trying times: “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when. But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.”
Lena Johansson, IFAJ President