The global reach of the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award will be extended in 2016, thanks to changes in the federation’s constitution and renewed support from key sponsor Alltech.
At its annual congress in New Zealand, IFAJ accepted eight new guilds for membership. That opens the young leaders’ competition to journalists in 40 countries.
Alltech also announced it will be supporting the program again this year, marking its 11th year of sponsorship for the program.
“It is truly an honor to once again support 10 young journalists from around the world as they visit farms to fine-tune reporting skills, polish photography techniques and further develop their personal leadership in agribusiness,” said Ann Hess, on-farm communications manager for Alltech. “As livestock and crop production continues to grow through innovation and technology, we need strong communicators to tell the story to an ever-increasing consumer-driven industry.”
The award is a travel scholarship that recognizes the leadership potential of 10 young members each year from guilds belonging to IFAJ, and supports their participation at the annual IFAJ Congress. This year, the program will be run in conjunction with the 2016 annual IFAJ Congress in Bonn, Germany, July 13-17.
“We have seen first-hand the benefits of this program,” says Owen Roberts, vice president of IFAJ. “With Alltech’s support and participation, we have been able to offer a program that has benefitted members and guilds. Many of the winners of the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award have gone on to leadership roles in their guilds.”
The IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders Award has contributed to the professional and personal development of nearly 100 budding journalists from around the world. Roberts says involving new guilds will likewise help them to pursue leadership and succession within their own organizations.
The young leaders join IFAJ’s Master Class participants, who are part of a separate program of specially selected journalists from developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
As a part of their learning experience, award winners take part in a boot camp with professional journalists and visit farms where they discuss how to apply their skills.