New IFAJ contest addresses hot ag topic

It’s a question the agricultural industry — including journalists and communicators — has been asking repeatedly lately. It’s even a topic that has spilled into mainstream media as analysts examine the topic.

Experts say agricultural production must double during the next 40 years. How does the world continue to feed its growing population?

As our work as agricultural journalists and communicators leads us to examine this question, the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) has unveiled a new contest, the IFAJ Award for Reporting on Sustainable World Agriculture. The award will recognize excellence in work that examines issues-based questions each year.

The IFAJ Award for Reporting on Sustainable World Agriculture is open to articles, internet productions or radio/TV broadcasts on the broad topics of hunger, feeding the world sustainably and meeting the challenge of providing nutrition to a growing world population.

This new award provides a unique professional development opportunity for all IFAJ members to participate in a broad-based contest that is relevant to current global issues — the goal of higher food production with a lower carbon footprint.

Entries to this year’s contest must address the following theme:
“How to feed a still growing world population? Can we double agricultural production towards 2050? Experts say we must double agricultural production during the next 40 years in order to avoid hunger and in order also to produce agricultural products for energy purposes. At the same time agricultural land will only increase slightly, and water may be an even more limited resource.”

Individual IFAJ members from countries with paid-up memberships are eligible to enter. This means national guilds are not required to have a judging or selection process to decide on an entry to go forward. One entry per member is allowed.

Entries may be a written article, a radio program or a television/internet production.

Entries should touch on the broad themes of hunger, feeding the world sustainably or meeting the challenge of providing nutrition to a growing world population. Entries can be macro (global, regional or national) or micro (local) points of view. Entries may focus on a broad array of topics including food supply and demand, trade, production agriculture practices and policy.

Judging will be based on objectivity, balance, content, clarity and relevance to the theme. Solid organization, depth of reporting and brightness of style will be examined. Entries have no length (words, minutes, etc.) requirement, but must have been published or aired in one (print) issue or single broadcast; series of reports are ineligible.

Entries must have been published or aired between January 1, 2010 and June 1, 2011. In this first year of the award, entries scheduled to be published or aired no later than December 31, 2011 are also eligible.

All entries must be written or spoken in English. The committee of judges will consider less perfect English from participants whose primary language is not English. Entry deadline is June 15, 2011.

The following information must be provided in the e-mail to which the article is attached:

  • Name, address, e-mail address and telephone number of the entrant;
  • Name of IFAJ member association of which the entrant is a member;
  • Name of publication, broadcast station or Web site where entry was published or aired;
  • Date and/or issue of broadcast, posting, airing, or publication;
  • The intended audience for the entry (consumers? farmers?)
For print entries, the layout and design will not be considered in the judging.
Entries, submitted in electronic format such as PDF or MP3, must be submitted to:
International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ)
c/o Secretary General Owen Roberts, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
email: owen(at)

An email directing judges to the entry via a link to broadcast sites such as is also acceptable.


Cash prizes for first (3,000 euro), second (1,500 euro) and third place (750 euro) will be awarded, with the winners of the contest announced at the 2011 IFAJ Congress in Canada, September 2011. IFAJ will publish the names of the winners and will publish their work at IFAJ reserves the right to use the entries and subsequent critiques in future professional development activities.


A panel of three judges will form an independent committee. The judging panel is lead by distinguished professor Henning Otte Hansen, senior adviser at the Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen. Other judges will be selected from North/South America, and Africa/Asia/Australia/New Zealand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s