John Deere relaunches training scheme for aspiring agricultural journalists

Farm machinery giant John Deere has relaunched a training scheme for aspiring agricultural journalists.

The course, run in conjunction with the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists (BGAJ) since 1991, will run again this year after a two-year break due to Covid-19.

A group of 10 applicants will be selected to take part in the course, led by journalism trainer David Mascord, at John Deere’s UK and Ireland headquarters in Langar, Nottinghamshire, on July 3-5.

After completion of the course, the participants will be required to complete a work placement with a national farming publication, a farming section within a national newspaper, an agricultural public relations agency, or within the communications department of a business which works with farmers.

Each course participant will then go head-to-head in a writing competition to find the winner of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ John Deere Training Award.

The winner will receive a cash prize of £250 and the runner-up will get £100 – both will receive their awards at the BGAJ harvest lunch event in London.

“Agriculture is poised to enter a period of unprecedented change and challenges,” said John Deere‘s tactical marketing manager, Chris Wiltshire.

“Therefore, the need to recruit top-notch journalists to communicate the work our industry undertakes has arguably never been more important.”

BGAJ chairman, Olivia Cooper, encouraged people to apply to take part in the course which has been delivering fresh blood into the industry for more than 30 years.

She said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn how journalism works, meet like-minded people and get a real insight into the career opportunities in front of you.

“I would urge anyone thinking of a career in agricultural journalism to apply for this course.”

Applicants must be studying and/or be a resident in Great Britain, and the course is primarily aimed at graduating students keen to find work in the industry or journalists with fewer than 12 months’ practical work experience.

The deadline to apply is April 29 and application forms can be obtained via email at