Caterpillar, the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, has announced a new partnership to help support agricultural knowledge and communications, as it continues to grow its presence in the agricultural sector.
The company is to become a sponsor of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ), the only global agricultural journalists’ association. The Caterpillar sponsorship funds two new initiatives: the IFAJ Caterpillar AgTech Reporting Award, and the Caterpillar Development Bursary.
The AgTech Reporting Award will recognise world-class reporting of the burgeoning ‘agtech’ industry – the application of new technology in agriculture.
“Technology has always been important to agriculture, and now it’s taking another step forward,” says Owen Roberts, IFAJ President. “Advances in the use of drones, satellites, robotics, irrigation, bioenergy and various AI-based decision-support tools all have the potential to help increase output, efficiency, quality, animal welfare, environmental benefits and foodstuff shelf life.
“The generous support from Caterpillar to create this new award will encourage IFAJ members from around the world to seek out and report stories that convey the tone of this fast-developing sector, communicating its relevance and importance to farmers, investors or consumers.”
“The bursary fund will invite grant applications from members who’d like to pursue a specific opportunity that will both assist them professionally and further the progress and objectives of IFAJ in some way,” Roberts explains.
“Ideally the applications will embrace travel, underlining the way in which IFAJ unites our global profession, and will also represent a move outside the applicant’s ‘comfort zone’.”
IFAJ’s global network of 5,000 members in 43 countries aims to improve the quality and flow of agricultural information to farmers around the world. Marketing communications coordinator at Caterpillar, Rebecca Mulligan, says Caterpillar was impressed by IFAJ’s global reach – its members, whether writers or broadcasters, reach an estimated 40 million people.
“Both the award and the bursary give us the opportunity to support the IFAJ network and the valuable work done by its members to inform and educate the world’s farmers,” she says. “We were impressed by IFAJ’s commitment to its members, including identification and expansion of professional development opportunities that raise the profile and standards of agricultural journalism and communication.
“These attitudes, combined with IFAJ’s worldwide presence, mark it out as an ideal partner for Caterpillar, chiming with our own commitments to sustainable progress and being a driver for positive change, on every continent.”
The Caterpillar AgTech Reporting Award and the Caterpillar Development Bursary will both open for applications in early 2018. For more information, please visit the application page.