Danish writer wins Star Prize for print journalism

Eric Hodson (l), Manager of Agricultural Publications for John Deere presented the cheque to the winner of the IFAJ Star Prize for print journalism, Per Henrik Hansen from Denmark

Per Henrik Hansen of Denmark is this year’s winner of the IFAJ Star Prize for print journalism. The award was made at the 2011 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress awards banquet in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

            Hansen’s article ”Chickens Designed for Growth” was published in Spis Bare magazine. Ashley Walmsley of Australia  received distinguished recognition for the story ”The Asian Invasion” in Good Fruit and Vegetables.

            The Star Prize for print journalism is sponsored by John Deere. The winner receives a certificate, a gold IFAJ pin and a 750 Euro cash prize. The runner up receives a 250 Euro cash prize.

            The judges said Hansen wrote “a beautiful story built around a controversial topic, broiler production. He describes the turning point for the industry with the arrival of legislation, and using actual figures shows that welfare has improved ever since. He lets critics (scientists) speak who think the legislation doesn’t go far enough. The glimpse into the organic versus non-organic broiler production is refreshing, especially because it is supported by concrete financial data.”

             As for Walmsley’s story about Asian honeybees, the judges said the writer “shows his journalistic astonishment of the fact that the Australian fruit and vegetable industry refused to assist in a program to eradicate the dangerous Asian honeybee. Walmsley shows us why this bee is so dangerous in three sidebars, while the main story searches to answer the question why 11 organisations refused to assist in the eradicating program.”

            This year’s competition drew entries from 11 IFAJ member countries. Judges were Ed Cassavoy, news editor for the Toronto Star newspaper, Canada, and Rochus Kingmans, former editor of Boerderij and head of publishing for CRV, The Netherlands. The competition coordinator was IFAJ secretary general Owen Roberts of Canada.

            Further information about the IFAJ Star Prize for print journalism is available on the IFAJ website at www.www.ifaj.org, or by contacting Roberts at owen@uoguelph.ca.

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