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Professional development initiatives launched

The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) is pleased to announce two professional development initiatives that will take place in conjunction with the 2011 annual IFAJ Congress in Ontario, Canada.

IFAJ-Pioneer Hi-Bred International Master Class

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is supporting a pilot project called the IFAJ-Pioneer Hi-Bred Master Class. This program will bring a group of journalists from developing countries to a two-day journalism and leadership workshop prior to the congress.

The workshop will focus on journalistic training, global agriculture and communications trends. Journalists will have a chance to share ideas with colleagues, and network with professionals from around the world. Master Class participants will be selected from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. 

The project will be based on a workshop with developing-country journalists initiated at the 2010 Belgium Congress, which was managed by AgriTerra, a Dutch-based agri-development agency. AgriTerra will help coordinate the master class program in Canada, owing to its experience in networking with journalists from underdeveloped countries. 

“High-quality information is key to increasing the amount of food available to feed the growing global population,” said Pioneer Hi-Bred President Paul E. Schickler. “Today’s agriculture journalists can help ensure that farmers, policy makers, and, ultimately, consumers, are able to make the informed decisions needed to improve food security.” 

IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Boot Camp

Alltech will expand its sponsorship of the successful IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism award to include a Boot Camp workshop. This activity will provide select young journalists with expert training and feedback through on-site writing or broadcasting assignments and further develop their leadership skills through formal in-class training.  

As a part of their learning experience, award winners will write or record spot news three times during the duration of the congress. Their stories will be made available to the general media and posted on the IFAJ website. Mentors will be assigned to the young leaders to work with them throughout the congress and guide them through their program, which was developed with stimulus and input from IFAJ member Branko Vrabec of Slovenia.

Conceived at the IFAJ 2005 meeting in Switzerland by Alltech and federation officials, the young leaders award has brought budding journalists to Japan, Austria and the US. 

“The IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism award has become a competitive, successful initiative,” says Billy Frey, Alltech’s North America communications manager. “Alltech is proud to support this award which has become coveted by member countries who’ve watched young leaders from their guilds gain invaluable experience by participating in an IFAJ congress.” 

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. Contact: Owen Roberts, Secretary General, owen(at)uoguelph.ca, 001-519-824-4120 Ext. 58278 (Canada).

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries.  DuPont is a science-based products and services company.  Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Contact Bridget Anderson, 001-515-270-3120 (USA).

Alltech is a worldwide leader in animal nutrition, health and performance. Its commitment to science and innovation has led it to natural feed supplements that help farmers raise healthy animals, reduce environmental impact, and replace traditional additives. Contact Billy Frey, manager of communication for North America, bfrey(at)alltech.com, 001-859-881-2236 (USA)

Agriterra is founded by the Dutch rural people’s organisations and they work from the conviction that if farmers organise themselves, they will be able to take the responsibility of their development into their own hands. Agriterra has extensive contacts in developing countries. Contact: Jose van Gelder, vangelder(at)agriterra.org, 0031 26 354 2079 (The Netherlands)

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