24th April 2014

Launch of Food and Farming Journalism Bursary

An initiative to encourage people to consider a career in food and farming journalism is being launched today (April 24th) by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists (BGAJ).

The “Food and Farming Journalism Bursary” is being launched ahead of the World Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) which is being held in early September this year.

The congress will see more than 200 farming and rural journalists from around the world  travel to Britain to learn more about its agriculture, horticulture, food and drink production and the application of leading technologies in livestock and crop production.

The main congress – which has the theme of “Innovations from a Small Island” – is being held in Aberdeenshire and will include visits to leading farms and food manufacturers in the north-east.

QMS and the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists are looking for applications from individuals who have an interest in farming and food production as well as a flair for writing. In-depth knowledge of agriculture or food production is not required.

The successful applicant will be awarded a place at the IFAJ Congress in Aberdeenshire as well as the opportunity to attend the pre-congress “Boot Camp”.

They will also receive a place on the 2014 BGAJ/John Deere Journalism Training Award course, which takes place at the start of July as well as being offered work experience with a farming title and a communications team involved in the food and farming industry.

Carol McLaren, Head of Communications with QMS, said: “Those who work at the heart of our food and farming industry are rightly very proud of the job they do and the top class food we produce – such as Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI – which has earned a global reputation for quality and taste.

“We hope this initiative will help to encourage aspiring journalists, writers and bloggers to take a keen interest in our industry and understand the fantastic story our industry has to tell in terms of our environmental, social and economic sustainability.”

Jane Craigie, Chairperson of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists said she welcomed QMS’s foresight in developing this initiative.

“Once the successful applicant has completed the elements of the award, he or she will have the foundation of skills and contacts to start a career in food or farming journalism from day one.

“The Bursary has increased significance because it champions three areas that our recently-departed colleague, Joe Watson, held dear – the British Guild, training young journalists and the IFAJ.

“Joe, formerly Farming Editor of the Press and Journal, took time to attend training courses to give aspiring writers the benefit of his experience and as part of his support of the IFAJ event to be held in the north-east later this year, he had also been in discussion with QMS on the development of this initiative.”

For further information about the bursary and to download an application form please click here or call Kirsty on 0131 472 4040.

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