Twenty-seven year old James Marshall from Somerset is the 2014 winner of the annual British Guild of Agricultural Journalists Training Award, sponsored by John Deere Limited. This year's runner-up is Fiona Turnbull, a sheep farmer and part-time farming columnist from Kinross in Scotland, who won her place on the course through the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ 2014 Congress bursary, sponsored by Quality Meat Scotland.James Marshall grew up in rural Somerset and has been writing freelance articles on farming for various regional newspapers and magazines in his spare time, while working for an academic book publisher. Since winning the award, James has changed career and from late November 2014 will be working for Devon-based specialist food and agriculture PR agency Reverberate.“Before applying for the course I had been looking to move away from my marketing based job in the publishing industry and gain employment within the agricultural PR sector,” he says. “I believe that attending the training course and winning the award played a significant part in securing the job offer from Reverberate PR, and I am very grateful to the Guild and to John Deere for giving me the opportunity.”James, who spent his course work experience with another PR agency, RDP Advertising & Marketing in Gloucestershire, won the award for his article on the government’s approach to the threat posed by African swine fever, which was published by Farmers Weekly Interactive. Fiona’s article, advising on how lamb producers can earn better returns from their flock, was also published, by her work experience host newspaper The Courier in Dundee.This year’s entries were judged by specialist training consultant and main course lecturer David Mascord and freelance Louise Impey, the BGAJ’s Awards Secretary. James received his winner’s cheque for £250, a framed certificate and the John Deere trophy at RDP’s offices, while Fiona was presented with her runner's-up framed certificate and a cheque for £100 at the Guild’s Harvest Lunch at The Stationers’ Hall in London in October.The 2014 course took place as usual at John Deere Limited's UK headquarters in July. For the final award, 11 course members were asked to write a news story on the subject of their choice, preferably based on work completed during their work experience placement. This year's work experience hosts were BBC Gardeners’ World, British Farmer & Grower, The Courier, DairyCo, Farmers Guardian, Garden Answers, Horticulture Week, RDP Advertising & Marketing, South East Farmer and Western Daily Press.This was the 22nd John Deere Training Award, which started in 1991 (one year was missed in 2001 due to the foot & mouth disease outbreak, and one in 2003 due to a lack of suitable applications). The course is based on two days of lectures on the basics of writing news and features and interviewing techniques, followed by three or more days of practical work experience with a range of farming and horticultural journals or communications businesses.The John Deere Training Award is designed to support the Guild in one of its principal aims - that of promoting schemes for the provision of suitable entrants into agricultural and horticultural journalism. Since it began, 30 course members have found employment as journalists on national farming and horticultural magazines or websites and with specialist PR companies (not including those already employed when they attended the course).• Copies of the two winning articles can be seen here. For further details of the 2015 course, please contact Steve Mitchell of ASM Public Relations Ltd – telephone + 44 (0)24 7630 8912 or +44 (0)7717 213182, or e-mail email@example.com
Chris Wiltshire has been appointed the new branch tactical marketing manager at John Deere Limited, from 1st October 2014. Chris replaces Gordon Day, who has elected to retire at the end of September after 31 years’ distinguished service with the company. In his new role, Chris will be responsible for delivery of all John Deere’s agricultural and turf marketing programmes and activities in the UK and Ireland.Chris Wiltshire graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering with Marketing from Harper Adams University in 1998. He began his career as a technical training instructor for a European competitor prior to joining John Deere Limited in 2000 as an agricultural demonstration instructor, before becoming an ag demonstrator/marketing specialist the following year.Chris moved to a marketing position in Zweibrücken, Germany at the end of 2002 before returning to the UK in 2004 as territory manager for Northern England and the Scottish Borders. He then returned to the John Deere headquarters at Langar in 2010 as product line manager responsible for hay and forage products. In this position Chris was instrumental in building the image and market share of this product line, which led to the launch of the company’s self-propelled forage harvester certification programme.In 2011 Chris moved to Deere & Company’s Global Training Organisation, assuming responsibility for training delivery in the UK and Ireland. During his three-year tenure, also based at Langar, Chris made a major contribution to improving both the range and quality of training provision, as well as levels of satisfaction across the business.Gordon Day joined John Deere Limited in 1983 as a training instructor. In 1986 he was promoted to area service manager, before becoming agricultural territory manager for the West Midlands in 1990. In 1995 Gordon gained a further promotion to product line manager for tractors and loaders. In this position he was instrumental in the company achieving market leadership in tractors in both the UK and Ireland.In 2011 Gordon assumed the newly created role of branch tactical marketing manager, a position which he has held until his retirement. John Deere Limited managing director Antony Scott said: “Gordon’s hard work, dedication and deep knowledge of the industry have made a very significant contribution to the development of our agricultural and turf business over his 31-year tenure. We wish him all the best as he moves into retirement, and thank him for his many contributions to John Deere, our dealers, our customers and the broader industry.”
Brian D’Arcy has been appointed strategic account manager for turf and other non-agricultural equipment at John Deere Limited. He replaces Paul Trowman, who has recently taken up a new role within Deere & Company’s tactical marketing group in Region 2 (Europe, CIS, North Africa and the Near & Middle East).
Based at the company’s Langar, Nottingham headquarters, Brian’s role includes representing John Deere to key strategic accounts throughout the UK and Ireland, developing new and maintaining existing relationships with these customers and ensuring support from the company’s nationwide dealer network. After joining John Deere Limited at Langar as a demonstrator in 2007, Brian D’Arcy was promoted to product sales specialist in 2008, then territory manager for Wales and the West Midlands in July 2009. “Brian’s customer and dealer experience gained over the past five years on territory will serve as a good foundation for his new position,” says turf division sales manager Chris Meacock.