The return of in-person IFAJ World Congress also marked the return of in-person Boot Camp, IFAJ’s special training for up-and-coming leaders from around the world.
The IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Program and the IFAJ/Corteva Master Class met in Vingsted, Denmark prior to this year’s Congress for an intensive leadership training, skill building and networking opportunity. Spirits were high and so was the energy level, and friendships were forged that will last for years.
This year’s participants included the following IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders:
- Hannah Binns, Great Britain, Farmers Guardian
- Tracey Donaghey, Ireland, Ulster Farmers’ Union
- Megan Hughes, Australia, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- Megan Schilling, USA, Successful Farming
- Maria Wehrle, Germany, Badischer Landwirtschafts-Verlag
- Becky Zimmer, Canada, Pattinson Media
These IFAJ/Corteva Master Class members also participated:
- Francisco Contardo, Chile, Radio Agricultura/AgriculturaTV
- Daniel Azevedo Duarte, Brazil, Agrofy News
- Halkawt Mohammad, Iraq
- Kedi VanderWesthuizen, Botswana, Farmers Review
Led by IFAJ secretary-general Adalberto Rossi, Alexandra Hayden of the IFAJ Global Office, and Young Leader alumna Jessie Scott of the USA, the group toured farms, engaged in workshops and challenged themselves and each other with thoughtful exercises on journalism and leadership. Another former Young Leader, Australian broadcaster Kallee Buchanan, provided her insight throughout the program.
IFAJ past president Owen Roberts presented on knowledge mobilization, while Alltech vice president Patrick Charlton and Corteva Agri Science’s corporate communications lead Sanna Karolszyk also shared their perspectives. A highlight of the program was a meeting with Alltech CEO Dr. Mark Lyons, who flew into Denmark to meet the group.
Unfortunately, several journalists honored with the IFAJ/Alltech Young Leader Award and spots in the IFAJ/Corteva Master Class were unable to participate in Boot Camp, largely due to backlogs in the visa process. Those colleagues included Young Leaders Seedy Darboe of The Gambia and Master Class honorees Williams Moi Arimo of Uganda, Tama Tengbeh of Sierra Leone, Daud Abri Daud Dimbil of Somalia, Yero S Yah of The Gambia, and Cecilia Persson of Sweden.
“Bringing the Young Leaders and Master Class together in Boot Camp is inspiring and exciting,” said Rossi. “Watching them build friendships and professional networks reminds us of the value IFAJ brings all of us, and also illustrates that the future of our industry grows from these amazing programs.”