New presidium will continue building member benefits

Experience is the key word for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ new presidium, elected by delegates at the organisation’s 52nd annual congress in Austria-Slovenia in September.

The presidium comprises President Mike Wilson (USA), Vice President Markus Rediger (Switzerland), General Secretary Owen Roberts (Canada) and Treasurer James Campbell (Ireland).

Wilson (pictured left) served as IFAJ vice president for eight years. Rediger was IFAJ treasurer for the four years of the previous presidium. Roberts served as vice president for professional development and education for the past four years, and Campbell chaired the IFAJ executive group’s host country committee.

“The new members of the presidium are an experienced group of working journalists and communicators who will be a great asset to this organization,” said MIke Wilson. “The IFAJ is in good hands.”

Wilson says he looks forward to working with the presidium and executive committee. He wants to continue making the IFAJ an increasingly dynamic organisation and implementing its 2015 strategic plan, adopted by delegates at the 2008 Congress. “IFAJ has successfully transformed from a social group to a professional service organization, and we need to continue providing members with new benefits,” he said.

Wilson is executive editor of Farm Futures, a US farm business magazine. He has worked for the Farm Progress Co. as a writer, photographer and editor since 1985. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association and in July was named the association’s 2008 Writer of the Year. Wilson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Illinois.

Vice president Markus Rediger (pictured right) is managing director of the Agricultural Information Centre LID in Bern, Switzerland. In 1986 Rediger joined the Swiss Guild of Agricultural Journalists and has served on the chairing committee for more than 10 years. He has a Masters of Science in agronomy from Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology and Masters of Extension Education from the University of Illinois.

General Secretary Owen Roberts (pictured left) is an instructor at the University of Guelph and a freelance agricultural journalist who specializes in communicating farming to urban audiences. He is also co-chair of the 2011 IFAJ Congress. Roberts, a senator in the Canadian Farm Writers Federation, earned a Masters of Science in rural extension from the University of Guelph and is halfway through his Doctorate of Education from Texas A&M University.

Treasurer James Campbell (pictured below right) is the Irish Farmers Journal editor for Northern Ireland. He is past president of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists of Ireland. Campbell is vice chair of the Northern Ireland Agricultural Research Council. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in biochemistry, Masters of Agriculture in farm business economics and post graduate Diploma in agricultural communications, all from Queen’s University of Belfast.

Rounding out the presidium for the next two years is David Markey, from Ireland, as immediate past-president. Markey will concentrate specifically on sponsorship and fundraising through his tenure, cultivating the many contacts he developed as president during the past four years, and as treasurer before that.

By: Stefanie Nagelschmitz, Canada

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