Agricultural writing about the meat sector in good heart

Neal Wallace (right) receiving his award from B+LNZ Ltd chief executive Sam McIvor.

Agricultural writing about the meat sector is in good heart in New Zealand … if the two winners of the meaty categories this year’s Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators awards are anything to go by.

A delighted Neal Wallace from NZ Farmers Weekly received the Beef + Lamb NZ News Award, which recognises excellence in news reporting, focusing on any aspect of the sheep and beef industry, for two articles, one about the chilled meat market needing time and the other on imports of  sheep milking genetic material from Britain, threatening exports of NZ sheep genetics to Australia. Wallace was also runner up in the supreme category, the Ministry for Primary Industries Rongo Award for a pair of investigative articles on the Wool Board and Wool Equities.

Fairfax Media’s Gerald Hutching won the Alliance Group Ltd Red Meat Industry Journalism Award for a pair of items, the first covering lamb survival that appeared in the Dominion Post and the second a profile for the Timaru Herald  on Englishman John Shrimpton.  Entries into this award focus on all aspects of marketing and all issues facing the red meat industry.

Deer genetics was one of the subjects covered in three winning articles from NZ Farmer’s Pat Deavoll, who won the Guild’s Agricultural Journalism Encouragement Award. This is designed to encourage and recognise excellence in those who have been writing/reporting on on agricultural issues for three years or less.

The MPI Rongo Award was scooped by Levin-based freelancer Aaron Smale for two items appearing in North and South magazine (Peak Milk) and NZ Geographic (‘Thick and thin’, a story about the wool industry that appeared in NZ Geographic).

Judges commented that the standard across all categories was very high this year and the pair had fought off stiff competition from other writers writing about the red meat sector.

All of the awards for 2016 were announced at the B+LNZ Awards Dinner, held in Wellington on 14 October. A total of 12 awards were presented, eleven for journalism and one for photography. The key objectives of the awards are the encouragement and recognition of excellence in journalism. The sponsors have no input to the selection of writers which are judged independently.

Read the winning entries and more about the winners at the Guild’s website www.nzgajc.org.nz.

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