New Stock and Land editor wins national leadership award

New Stock and Land editor Tom Dawkins is heading to Europe next month after winning a prestigious national award for young rural journalists. Tom has won the Alltech Young Leaders in Rural Journalism Award, organised annually by the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists (ACAJ) and sponsored by global animal nutrition company, Alltech.

Co-presenter of the ABC Country Hour in South Australia, Annabelle Homer, was named runner-up.

As the winner, Tom will attend the 2010 congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in Belgium from April 17 to 21, with leading rural journalists and communicators from some 30 countries. The cost of his attendance, including airfares and registration, will be covered by Alltech.

A panel of three judges selected the young South Australian from a record number of candidates who entered from across Australia.

“The judges were very impressed by Tom and the obvious leadership potential he is showing so early in his career,” said ACAJ president, Liz Harfull.

“He is a gifted writer with a strong interest in the human angle and the communities which make up his readers; and he clearly has the ability and the dedication to become an outstanding, long-term contributor to the profession.

“We believe winning this award will help Tom to realise this potential. It will provide him with an opportunity to build lasting networks with his peers and to develop a broader understanding of the issues facing farmers around the world.

“In his role as an editor, we believe he also has the opportunity to share his experiences and networks with other journalists.”

Tom took up his appointment with the Stock and Land only this month. He was formerly editor of the Stock Journal in South Australia, where he started as markets editor in July 2006. Within 18 months he was appointed Chief of Staff; he was promoted to editor in August 2008. 

In accepting the award, Tom said rural journalists were charged with the important responsibility of providing information vital to farmers and their ongoing financial viability.

He believed attending the congress in Belgium would allow him to improve his understanding of the global issues impacting on farmers, particularly the trade and agricultural policies of the European Union which is based in Brussels.

He was particularly interested in working with the ACAJ and its network of rural press clubs to improve their appeal to younger journalists and to cultivate the next generation’s passion for reporting on rural issues.

Alltech Regional Marketing Projects Manager Emily Naylor said Alltech was delighted to be able to provide Tom with an opportunity to meet with some of the world’s leading rural editors and journalists who would inspire him in his future career.

“Professional development, education and access to accurate and timely information are all vital to ensuring the sustainability and success of rural industries,” she said.

“We are very pleased to sponsor this award, which we hope encourages young journalists to consider a long-term career in the rural sector and to take a leadership role in its future.”

About Alltech

Alltech is a multinational biotechnology company providing natural animal health solutions through nutrition. The company employs more than 2,000 people in 120 countries, and operates 21 production facilities, including three in the Asia-Pacific region.

Alltech is recognised as one of the leading research-based animal health companies in the world. By focusing on providing natural solutions to real problems, it works to respond to the industry needs and enhance customers’ profitability. Alltech is committed to its pioneering ACE program, ensuring its products are safe for the Animal, the Consumer and the Environment.

For further details contact Liz Harfull on 0409 674 941 or email lizk@adam.com.au

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