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Agriculture journalist wins trip to New Zealand congress

Ben Pike

A freelance journalist who started out in the regional press has won a trip to New Zealand after being selected to receive a Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism award.

Ben Pike, left, will attend the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists congress and workshop in Hamilton in October.

He works as a freelance rural journalist and public relations consultant as part of his business, Ben Pike Communications, which was set up 18 months ago and is based near Leamington Spa.

Before going freelance, Ben worked for the Bridgwater Mercury, Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News, Somerset County Gazette and then at British Farmer & Grower magazine.

He said: “It’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded people from around the world to share ideas about how to grow and improve small rural businesses like mine.

“Ben Pike Communications has only existed for 18 months so I am always on the lookout for opportunities like this and feel very privileged to have been chosen.”

Candidates for the New Zealand event were selected on the basis of a written submission to their native guild of agricultural journalists, before being put before an international judging panel.

Ben, 31, will join nine other successful applicants who will receive bursaries from the award’s sponsors Alltech.

Adrian Bell from the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists said: “It is good news and reflects well on the qualities and character of the British Guild that we’ve been successful in securing a Young Leader place for one of our members.”