Dates announced for Guild’s 2019 journalism training award

The British Guild of Agricultural Journalists and John Deere Limited have announced the dates of this year’s training course for potential agricultural and horticultural journalists - Sunday to Tuesday June 30 to July 2, 2019, plus three days’ work experience to be arranged for successful applicants.


Now in its 27th year, the course is designed to support one of the principal aims of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists - that of promoting schemes for the provision of suitable entrants into agricultural and horticultural journalism. The John Deere Training Award is primarily aimed at graduating students keen to find full-time work in the agricultural and horticultural media, and at journalists or public relations staff who already have less than 12 months’ practical work experience.


There are 10 full places available on this annual five and a half-day course, which is in two parts. The first two and a half days, at John Deere’s headquarters in Langar, Nottingham and a local hotel, involve lectures by experienced journalism training consultant David Mascord, with practical exercises that cover the main media sectors, and guest speakers such as Tim Relf of The Operative Word.


A separate minimum three-day placement sees each of the selected full course members given practical work experience at one of a range of specialist magazines, newspapers or PR consultancies across Britain.


At the end of the course, each person has to write a news story for judging by an expert panel. The winner receives a £250 cheque and the handsome John Deere trophy, with an informal presentation taking place later in the year, usually at the Guild’s Harvest Lunch in London in October.


Those interested in attending the course, who must be studying and/or resident in Great Britain, have until Friday March 29, 2019 to return a completed application form, which is available to download below (pdf version / writable Word version) or direct from course organiser Steve Mitchell of ASM Public Relations, tel: 01926 818762, mobile: 07717 213182 or e-mail:



The training course at Langar and course accommodation in Nottingham are free of charge, although successful applicants are expected to cover their own out of pocket expenses. Preference will normally be given to students graduating this summer and looking for work, as it is common for full-time positions to be available in both journalism and PR every year at or around the time the course takes place.


For a full list of award ‘graduates’ since the first course in 1991, including many well-known names currently working in the agricultural and horticultural media, please click on the Roll of Honour link in the BGAJ John Deere Training Award section of the Guild website here: