IFAJ launches IFAJ-Yara Award for Reporting on Sustainable Agriculture

The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) is launching a new professional development contest to encourage better reporting on sustainable agriculture.

The IFAJ-Yara Award for Reporting on Sustainable Agriculture will allow IFAJ members a chance to compete for a top prize of 3,000 euros (USD $4,000). Second and third place winners will also receive cash prizes of 1,500 and 750 euros respectively. Entries may be a written article, a radio programme or a television/internet production. Entries are due by June 15, 2011. Eligibility details can be found at the IFAJ website, www.www.ifaj.org.

“This professional development program differs from our other writing contests in that it is open to all IFAJ members from our 31 member-countries and is focusing on a theme,” says Mike Wilson, IFAJ President. “With this contest we hope to encourage more discussion and debate on the important topic of world hunger and sustainable agriculture.”

The program is sponsored by Yara ASA, a global firm specializing in agricultural products and  environmental protection agents.

“Like IFAJ, Yara has a global network of agricultural reporters,” says Yara Information Manager Bernhard Stormyr. “We believe that sharing knowledge is vital. Yara expects to be surprised and astounded by new insights from the award entries.”

Winners will be announced and honoured at the IFAJ annual congress in September 2011 in Canada. Afterwards officials from IFAJ and Yara will appraise the strengths and weaknesses as the program continues through 2013.

A panel of three experts, led by Senior Adviser Henning Otte Hansen, PhD, from the Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, will judge the entries. Two other judges will be selected from North/South America and either Asia, Australia, New Zealand or Africa.

The IFAJ-Yara contest is the latest in a growing number of professional development programs the IFAJ offers its members. Others include The Star Prize for Print Journalism sponsored by John Deere, the Star Prize for Agricultural Photography sponsored by De Laval, and the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award sponsored by Alltech. Annual contests for broadcast awards, covering TV, radio and online communication have also been established and sponsored by IFAJ, with the first winners selected in 2010.

For more information contact IFAJ General Secretary Owen Roberts at (519) 824-4120 ext. 58278, or email him at owen@uoguelph.ca.

Yara International ASA, based in Norway, is a global leader specializing in agricultural fertilizers and environmental protection agents. Yara is present in 50 countries with sales to more than 120 countrieswww.yara.com The IFAJ is a non-political, professional association for agricultural journalists in 31 countries. It serves as a platform for communication, information and professional development for agricultural journalists from all over the world.www.www.ifaj.org

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