Lloyd Phillips, of the IFAJ member guild, Agricultural Writers South Africa, recently attended the 2018 US Ag Media Summit held over 4 – 8 August in Scottsdale, Arizona.
It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise to receive an invitation to participate in the 2018 instalment of the prestigious annual US Ag Media Summit (AMS). I would be visiting the USA for my first time ever, and the AMS organisers had asked that I co-present a workshop on Master the Writing Process and also give a short speech to potential sponsors of the 2019 IFAJ Congress that is to be held in the US State of Minnesota.
It was my long-time and close connections with the IFAJ and its members that generated this amazing opportunity for me to not only further develop my ag writing skills and international ag media connections, but also to share with interested attendees of the 2018 AMS my lessons learned from writing for a diverse readership back in South Africa.
The idea of co-presenting a writing workshop was intimidating for me given that I, as an ag journalist, am used to being on the receiving end of presentations. However, much appreciated guidance and support from my illustrious co-presenters, Steve Werblow and Cynthia Clanton, made the experience interesting and fun. Dare I say that I would now even do it again?
And being in the company of my IFAJ friends, including current President, Owen Roberts, helped me to survive my speech to potential sponsors of the Federation’s 2019 Congress.
I wish to thank the hosts and sponsors of the 2018 AMS, the leadership of the IFAJ and of my country’s guild, and Farmer’s Weekly South Africa, for all variously providing me with the wonderful opportunity to substantially broaden my professional and personal horizons via my visit to the USA and participation in the Summit. I am also pleased that I was able to, albeit it in small way, give something back to the IFAJ and to my US (and Canadian) colleagues in agricultural communications.