By Jana Janků, KPN vice-president
The Club of Agricultural Journalists (KPN) under the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists, (IFAJ member), is not a big club in numbers, but the colleagues are vigorous journalists and zealous organizers. This year it has already been seventeen years of the club commitment to TOP AGRO – a competition of about 100 agro companies ready to present their achievements in public.
The 100 agro companies are evaluated and compared. The outcome is a list of the best companies within the agro sector in Slovakia. The ranking is done annually at the fourth quarter of the year. The TOP AGRO SLOVAKIA has turned out to become a prestigious event and commitment for KPN. Some years it were just a competition about good numbers posted to financial reports. Since then a new award The Best Chotar was included in the competition considering not only economic results, but also “love at first sight“– that means whether fields and farm yards are kept neat and tidy and countryside operations friendly to the environment.
Like in previous years, about 300 guests were invited for the evening of awards to Cultural Center in Bojnice, the town with probably the most romantic castle in Slovakia. The organizing team under the leadership of our Club President and Vice President, Josef Sedlak and Jana Janků, were all busy working for several months and had stopped to take a calm breath only at the very end of the successful evening. This year their guys: Kristína Šmehýlová, Martin Jurčo and Sona Ludvighová, also club members, overtook the role of the event moderators and presenters.
This year we had a difficult task. Ten members of the club spent all summer, at its hottest days, while people usually went on holidays, roaming through fields and stables visiting agro companies and farms, making interviews, taking pictures and subsequently in “sweaty faces” writing articles so that the traditional representative TOP AGRO Yearbook under the careful eyes of Lora Dobrucká, the main editor, was timely prepared.
The yearbook had 108 pages and it was perfect. To summarize all the effort: KPN again well presented that is not only a journalistic association, but actually something of the type of a very efficient and experienced event agency.
It was not only a festive evening of awards, but also a charity event of an artistic mode. Winners got nice prize awards – pictures painted by handicapped artists engaged in the project Let’s Build Bridges Together. It was under the auspices of the foundation of the same name (Stavajme spolu mosty), and the artworks were purchased by our KPN. This year the motto for art painting was selected smartly: countryside. Under the supervision of their tutors – renowned painters, handicapped artists created more than 60 remarkable works of art. All paintings were exhibited in Bojnice culture center area and people could admire them and learn stories of and about the artists.
The absolute winner of Top Agro Slovakia 2011 is MM+J Ltd. Šamorín – Mliečno, which belongs to Donau Farm Co. owned by Danish investors. But a young Slovak lady Zuzana Benesova is the leader of that excellent performer, and she personally won the proud title “the best agricultural manager of the year 2011”. The award was given by the Minister of Agriculture. The Most Beautiful Chotar award went to Agricultural cooperative Važec.
Organizers themselves were not left without an award either. A commemorative plaquette issued at the occasion of 20th anniversary of the Slovak Agricultural and Food Chamber was handed over by its chairman Milan Semancik to Jozef Sedlák, and a gift followed – a historical phone and a typewriter, with a comment: “please enjoy the latest conquest of science and technology super I phone and tablet. Lovely! Well, it was not a long ago, when journalists were using such “tools“. Despite of the fact, that club members belong mostly to a generation which “remembers a lot“, they are very glad that such a successful event like the TOP AGRO attract several young, skilful and smart journalists, who joined club.