NZ host to agjournos conference

This week, around 150 agricultural journalists from around the world will be in Hamilton for the world congress of agricultural journalists. 

Congress 2015 is being hosted by the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators, on behalf of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ).  A full programme of activities is planned, with a comprehensive range of speakers important to the agricultural sector and visits to many farms, agribusinesses and research facilities around the region.

They are coming from about 27 countries from agricultural newspapers and magazines, radio, digital publications and blogs, and a couple of television programmes.  All are expecting to file stories from New Zealand about what makes New Zealand’s farming systems so unique and world leading, the agricultural-related businesses so successful, and to experience wonderful food and wine. So over the next couple of months, New Zealand’s primary sector, particularly around Hamilton, will feature extensively in the world’s agriculture media.

Hugh StringlemanChairman of the congress organising committee, Hugh Stringleman, says long-time IFAJ members had repeatedly asked when the NZ guild could organise a congress.

“Many said a congress in New Zealand would fulfill a life-long dream to see first-hand the origin of New Zealand’s reputation for primary production. With the help of sponsors and a hard-working local committee we have delivered a congress three years in the making, by a writers’ guild of only 100 members.

“Helped by the fall in the value of the NZ dollar, delegates have come mainly from North America, Europe, Scandinavia, the UK and Australia,” he says.

“Among them are a number of younger Asian and Eastern European journalists sponsored by Alltech and Du Pont Pioneer to attend a master class and Young Leaders classes in skills and agricultural reporting within the congress.

“IFAJ Congress 2015 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for NZ agricultural farmers, journalists and communicators to show off their country and their work-day passions.”

Congress 2015 has attracted around NZ$200,000 in sponsorship and an additional NZ$50,000 in kind. The family of sponsors for Congress 2015 are: DairyNZ, Fonterra, AGMARDT, NZXAgri,  KPMG, Tourism NZ, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry for Primary Industries, Zespri, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Gallagher, Horticulture New Zealand, Beef + Lamb NZ, Silver Fern Farms, AgResearch, Yealands Winery, DINZ and Monsanto.  Special thanks also go to Jim Burns, Whittakers and PickMee Apples.

More information about the Congress can be found at www.congress2015.co.nz

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