Ten participants have been selected for the 2015 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism award. The award supports the winners’ participation in an IFAJ congress and in an intensive journalistic boot camp-style workshop. This year’s boot camp takes place October 12-13, prior to the IFAJ congress in New Zealand.
The successful applicants for 2015 are:
- Brett Worthington, Australia, rural reporter in Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- Ewald Wurzinger, Austria, journalist
- Trevor Bacque, Canada, managing editor for Grains West
- Christian Erin-Madsen, Denmark, journalist for Landbrug & Fødevarer
- Andrea Bergman, Finland, journalist for Landsbygdens Folk
- Doerte Quinckhardt, Germany, journalist for Landwirtschaftliche Wochenblatt Westfalen-Lippe
- Ben Pike, Great Britain, freelance journalist
- Mary Phelan, Ireland, journalist for Farmers Journal
- Camilla Olsson, Sweden, journalist for Land Lantbruk
- Candace Weeda, USA, journalist
The selection process consisted of points for a written submission, judges’ impression of the candidates’ leadership potential, their proven leadership abilities and a narrative explaining their interest in the young leaders’ program.
The judges for the 2015 competition were IFAJ executive members Anne-Mette Kirkemo of Norway, Jacqueline Wijbenga of the Netherlands and Dana Vecerova of the Czech Republic. Competition coordinator is Riitta Mustonen, IFAJ secretary general, of Finland.
The boot camp was started 10 years by IFAJ vice-president Owen Roberts of Canada and Alltech, with close guidance from company president and founder Dr. Pearse Lyons. Since then, almost 90 young journalists have received the chance to strengthen their skills and expand their global network through this program. “Over the last 10 years, we have seen young agricultural journalists from across the globe bring to the forefront of discussion, topics such as reducing methane emissions, abolishing milk quotas, incorporating solar-powered cameras to check cattle and using a smartphone to complete daily chores,” says Lyons. “These sharp wordsmiths are critical to the ongoing transformation within the agriculture and food sectors and beyond, and Alltech is proud to promote these young leaders in their journalistic pursuits.”
Competition coordinator Mustonen says IFAJ appreciates Alltech’s vision in supporting up-and-coming leaders in agricultural journalism. “This is a year of celebration of this award. It has existed thanks to the vision, generosity and constant support of Alltech, particularly its emphasis on youth development,” she says.