The British Guild of Agricultural Journalists’s (BGAJ) John Deere Training Award returns this summer and promises to bring you all the ins and outs of what it means to be a reporter in the agricultural landscape.

The free training course will take place 3-5 July at John Deere’s UK and Ireland headquarters in Langar, Nottinghamshire. It is mainly aimed at graduating students who are interested in working in the agri media field, or journalists with less than 12 months of practical work experience.

However, if you don’t fall into either of those categories, don’t be afraid to apply as applications will also be considered on merit. It is also a great opportunity for Irish students in the UK to upskill in the media industry.

Successful applicants

Ten successful applicants will be selected to take part in the course where they will get to attend lectures and do practical exercises.

The course is led by David Mascord. A work placement is also part of the training programme to give students a taste of a real-life working environment as an agricultural journalist.

The placement will be accommodated by various farming and horticulture publications or by agri-related public relations agencies.

As a fun activity and subject to driving experience, course members will have the opportunity to test drive John Deere tractors and utility vehicles.


The training course does not end there, participants also get to enter a piece of their work for a chance to win the overall John Deere Training Award, worth £250. Both the winner and a runner up will be invited to the BGAJ harvest lunch in London.

BGAJ and John Deere have been running the course for 30 years and participants have gone on to follow successful careers in agricultural journalism.

Chris Wiltshire, tactical marketing manager at John Deere, calls the course a “catalyst” for an ag journalism career.

Chris says: “Agriculture is poised to enter a period of unprecedented change and challenges. Therefore the need to recruit top-notch journalists to communicate the work our industry undertakes has arguably never been more important.

“With so much information being produced, the role of a journalist is to scrutinise and challenge, and bring forward ideas and concepts that can help farmers make those important decisions about their future.”

Applicants do not have to come from a farming background but must be either studying or resident in the UK. Deadline to apply is 29 April.

Read more

Medical Poland facilitates student trip to Poland

What's happening with organic farming in Ireland?