Stories are key to journalism, and few individuals loved telling stories to agricultural journalists as much as Dr. Pearse Lyons, the founder of Alltech.
Dr. Lyons, who passed away last March, was renowned for his engaging story-telling style, whether the topic was game-changing technology, leadership or family. To him, the media was a friend to farmers, helping to sort out issues, explain new developments and prosper from the knowledge journalists so naturally mobilize through their work.
Dr. Lyons also had a keen appreciation for investing in young people, helping them develop their careers as professionals and expanding their horizons. It was with his encouragement, investment and engagement that IFAJ launched one of its most vital professional development programs, the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders on Agricultural Journalism award. This award, established in 2005, recognizes the potential of 10 emerging leaders (up to the age of 35) in agricultural journalism and communications from around the world.
Now, a new award, the IFAJ-Alltech International Award for Leadership in Agricultural Journalism, takes young-leader recognition to the next level.
The new award focuses on contributions young journalists are making to leadership within their individual guilds – how they, as young professionals, have developed their potential into leadership positions.
With applications currently being judged, one winner will be chosen and introduced onstage to some 4,000 delegates from nearly 80 countries at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE19), being held May 19–21, 2019, in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. The conference features leading industry experts exploring the challenges and solutions facing agriculture and is an excellent resource for journalists to acquire new insights that producers want and need.
IFAJ thanks Mrs. Deirdre Lyons, Dr. Mark Lyons and Alltech staff for this award and for their shared commitment to youth development, professional and global outreach. Alltech is one of IFAJ’s longest-standing corporate partners, a relationship developed and nurtured by Dr. Pearse Lyons and former IFAJ president David Markey of Ireland.
By Owen Roberts, IFAJ President