Twenty-one year old Royal Agricultural University student Anna Bowen from Carmarthen is the 2013 winner of the annual British Guild of Agricultural Journalists Training Award, sponsored by John Deere Limited. This year's runner-up is Andrea Beddows, a part-time public relations manager and freelance copywriter from Knipton, near Grantham in Lincolnshire.
Anna grew up on a Carmarthenshire dairy farm and is in her final year at Cirencester studying for a BSc in International Equine and Agricultural Management. She is a regular student contributor to Three Counties Farmer, has written articles for Endurance and Local Rider magazines, spent a week each on work experience at the Wilts & Gloucs Standard, Carmarthen Journal and Horse & Hound, and is an active blogger.
Anna Bowen’s winning article on new DEFRA measures to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis in England was judged by specialist training consultant and main course lecturer David Mascord to be the best news story of the 10 submitted, tackling a very topical subject with a clear and concise writing style and a good use of quotes.
Andrea Beddows has a BSc degree in Rural Land Management from the Royal Agricultural College (as it was then), and recently joined the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists as a full member. She is also a former chairman of the under 30s section of the Farmers Club. Andrea spent her course work experience placement at the NFU’s British Farmer & Grower, and wrote her article on a major new trade deal for the export of beef and lamb to Russia.
Anna received her winner’s cheque for £250, a framed certificate and the John Deere trophy at Cirencester, while Andrea was presented with her runner's-up framed certificate and a cheque for £100 at the Guild’s Harvest Lunch at The Stationers’ Hall in London in October.
The 2013 course took place as usual at John Deere Limited's UK headquarters, in July. For the final award, the 10 course members were asked to write a news story on the subject of their choice, preferably based on work completed during their work experience placement. This year's work experience hosts were Amateur Gardening, BBC Gardeners’ World, British Farmer & Grower, Farmers Guardian, Farmers Weekly, 5M Publishing, The Garden, Horticulture Week, Three Counties Farmer and Whisper.pr.
This was the 21st John Deere Training Award, which started in 1991 (one year was missed in 2001 due to the foot & mouth disease outbreak, and one in 2003 due to a lack of suitable applications). The course is based on two days of lectures on the basics of writing news and features and interviewing techniques, followed by three or more days of practical work experience with a range of farming and horticultural journals or communications businesses.
The John Deere Training Award is designed to support the Guild in one of its principal aims - that of promoting schemes for the provision of suitable entrants into agricultural and horticultural journalism. Since it began, 27 course members have found employment as journalists on national farming and horticultural magazines or websites and with specialist PR companies (not including those already employed when they attended the course).
- Copies of the two winning articles can be seen here. For further details of the 2014 course, please contact Steve Mitchell of ASM Public Relations Ltd – telephone + 44 (0)24 7630 8912 or +44 (0)7717 213182, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org