Nine agricultural journalists attended the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) boot camp, sponsored by Alltech. The event focused on how agribusiness can feed an additional three billion people by 2050 and their role in helping to save the planet.
Held prior to the IFAJ congress in Argentina, the journalistic, boot camp-style workshop focused on the theme of climate change. Recipients of the Alltech-IFAJ Young Leaders Award discussed agribusiness issues from around the world and further developed their skills through discussion and analysis on agricultural journalism trends, social media applications and a news conference.
This year's news conference was hosted by Gabriel Gualdoni, sales manager for Alltech Latin America and president of the Argentine Chamber of Animal Nutrition Companies. He presented the paper "Can Agribusiness Feed Three Billion New People… and Save the Planet? A Glimpse into the Future" written by Aidan J. Connolly, vice president of Alltech, and his wife, Kate Phillips-Connolly. The article, featured in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, interviews 25 industry experts and identified seven key barriers that are impeding the ability of agribusiness to feed nine billion people by 2050.
"We in agriculture must think differently from how we have in the past, by adopting new technology at a faster pace and communicating in a way we never have before," said Gualdoni.
Winners of this year's Alltech-IFAJ Young Leaders Award from North America are Jennifer Latzke, United States, and Kim Waalderbos, Canada.
Latzke is an associate editor for High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal, a weekly farm and ranch publication based in Dodge City, Kan. She covers a range of topics such as wheat, canola, cotton, and livestock in a region from the southern counties of Kansas to the west Texas plains. A fifth generation farmer, raising wheat and black Angus cattle on her family's farm in central Kansas, Latzke holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications with a minor in animal science. She started work at the journal later that same year. In 2001, she started writing her bi-monthly column, "Common Ground," which has earned her several awards.
Waalderbos is a freelance writer and dairy farmer living in New Brunswick, Canada. She was raised on a farm in the Maritimes, studied agriculture at the University of Guelph and now owns a dairy farm with her partner, David. Waalderbos has been writing about agricultural stories and working with farm organizations for more than 10 years.
Other 2013 Alltech-IFAJ Young Leaders are Frida Johnson, ATL, Sweden; Carla Wiese-Smith, The Land, Australia; Darren Carty, Irish Farmers Journal, Ireland; Annette Weber, Austria; Tienke Wouda, Niuewe Oogst, Netherlands; Denene Erasmus, Farmers Weekly, South Africa; Alona Novichkova, broadcast, Ukraine and Rouven Zietz, Germany. Jyotika Sood, Down to Earth, India, was also chosen for the award, but was unable to attend the congress.
Candidates were nominated by their respective agricultural journalism guilds. 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. Almost 70 journalists have strengthened their skills and expanded their global network through this program, now in its eighth year.
"IFAJ is grateful for Alltech's commitment to leadership, education and global communications in our federation," says Owen Roberts, IFAJ vice president. "Young leaders are vital for the longevity of agricultural journalism guilds throughout IFAJ, and support from Alltech is making a difference in the future of the profession."