When John Deere Met Journalism

There has been an unintentional lack in posts recently, and this is because it has been a B-U-S-Y summer so far! The first exciting thing I want to write about was kind of a big deal for me. This year I managed to win a place on the John Deere BGAJ Agricultural Training Award, and I loved every minute of it.

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You have to apply for a place to get onto the training award and each year a small selection of candidates are chosen from nationwide. These lucky few are then given a fantastic insight into the world of agricultural news and features writing and even a bit of PR thrown in too. It is training, so there are lectures and discussions in abundance and practical tasks as well.

The training takes place in Nottingham, so the eleven other trainees and myself had hotel accommodation booked for us for the two and a half day stay. It’s a strange situation, turning up to a place you’ve never been before to meet a bunch of people you’ve never met before, but would be spending the next few days with! I was able to heave a great sigh of relief because it didn’t take long for us all to find common ground and realise what a genuinely great group we were in.

Drinks were bought and into the hotel conference room we were hastened, ready and eager to begin, with a break in the middle for some hearty grub and then on to the bar once more for drinks and chat afterwards.

The next two days saw us head over to John Deere, in Langar, with only one minor detour on the first trek over. Here I drank more coffee than I possibly ever have done in two days, and we had talks with the ever so knowledgeable and experienced David Mascord, the inspirational new editor of Farmers Guardian Ben Briggs and the fella we needed to thank for us being there, John Deere’s PR guru Steve Mitchell.

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It was sad to say goodbye to these people, especially after the three course meal, drinks and bonding we had on Monday night (when we probably should have been working on the assignment given to us that day, but training is like being a student, right?! And what do students do best… procrastinate!) but with social media how it is today we can stay in touch, seek advice and keep up to date with each other so easily.

I learnt so much from this award and my eyes were opened to career choices and training I hadn’t even thought of before. Of course, it’s not over yet though! Oh no. There is also a three day work placement attached, to be completed by the end of August. I still have mine to come, and I cannot wait to see what inspiration and motivation it brings!

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Oh – and did I mention you get to test drive brand new machinery, too?!

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