The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Hosts Global Master Class for Agricultural Journalists from Developing Countries

DuPont, through its Pioneer Hi-Bred business, sponsors Masters Class during the 2011 IFAJ Congress in Canada.

The Netherlands, Sept. 1, 2011 – The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) and DuPont, through its Pioneer Hi-Bred business, are collaborating to provide training and networking opportunities for agricultural journalists from developing countries.

More than a dozen agricultural journalists will participate in the 2nd Annual IFAJ Master Class held in Guelph, Canada, on September 11-12, which precedes the 2011 IFAJ Congress being held Sept. 14-18. The agricultural journalists represent 12 countries including Brazil, Burkina Faso, China and India.
This year’s Master Class, themed “Experience Another (Agri)culture,” has a two-fold thrust.

·         First, it provides a dynamic and complete professional development experience for journalists from developing countries.

·         Secondly, it gives journalists from the developed world access to contacts in countries that are intricately involved in feeding an increasingly hungry world. In that way, the Master Class exercise contributes to creating awareness of the role and position of farmers and their organizations worldwide.

During the two-day Master Class summit, workshops are given by IFAJ member journalists, making it a true peer-to-peer teaching and learning experience. Subject matters covered include journalistic best practices, freedom of press, interviewing skills and new media as well as the role of farmers in fighting poverty. Most attending journalists are closely affiliated with organizations of smallholders and family farmers in their native countries.

José van Gelder of Agriterra, an agricultural development agency based in the Netherlands, is an IFAJ member and is in charge of organizing the event. Van Gelder believes that poverty needs to be fought with entrepreneurship. “For that,” she says, “you need strong farmer organizations, delivering the right and essential services to their farmers. Ag journalism is a powerful means to inform farmers on issues that help them in their day-to-day work.”

                The Master Class is made possible through funds provided by DuPont through its Pioneer Hi-Bred business, which has financed all programming and travel costs for journalists participating in the 2011 Master Class.

“As a global business, we are proud to sponsor IFAJ’s Master Class program that provides professional development and knowledge-based tools in support of agricultural journalists worldwide,” said Paul E. Schickler, president, Pioneer Hi-Bred. “High quality information and communications are essential to fostering understanding that will bring incredible benefits to farmers and consumers and others throughout the value chain.”

The Master Class contributes to the large number of countries (33 in total) that will be represented at the 2011 IFAJ Congress. Participants are expected from all over the word – including China, Burkina Faso, Guinea, India, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Armenia, Congo and Madagascar.

Starting September 11, the experiences of the journalists can be followed on www.ifaj2011.com and via #IFAJ tweets, also shown at www.ifaj.org.

Additional Organization Information

International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ)

The IFAJ is a non-political, professional association for agricultural journalists in 31 countries. It serves as a platform for communication, information and professional development for agricultural journalists from all over the world.

Agriterra

Agriterra is founded by the Dutch rural people’s organisations, working from the conviction that if farmers organise themselves, they will be able to take the responsibility of their development into their own hands. Agriterra has extensive contacts in developing countries.

Contacts:

IFAJ –   Owen Roberts, Secretary General and 2011 Congress co-chair               owen(at)uoguelph.ca  or +1-519-824-4120 Ext. 58278

Agriterra –  José van Gelder, master class coordinator                                   vangelder(at)agriterra.org  or +31-26-3542079

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