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International Federation of Agricultural Journalists congress

With the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) congress kicking off on October 14, it will be a be great opportunity to showcase everything New Zealand has to offer the sector. Industry professionals are set to gather in Hamilton for an exchange of ideas and debate on some of the hottest topics in the world of agriculture and horticulture

President of the IFAJ, Markus Rediger is set to continue his long journey from Switzerland, passing through Australia en route to New Zealand. Joining him for the four day event will be some 150 international agricultural journalists from 30 different countries, who represent influential news outlets across print, broadcast and digital media. 

A chance to experience a slice of NZ

Hosted by the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators, the 2015 congress is set to be an eventful few days, packed with everything from farm visits to tours of research facilities and presentations from integral figures in the industry. 

"IFAJ Congress 2015 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for NZ agricultural farmers, journalists and communicators to show off their country and their workday passions." Hugh Stringleman.

Journalists will enjoy talks from keynote speakers Sir William Gallagher, Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries, and Tim Groser, Minister for Trade and Climate Change, as well as industry representatives from Fonterra, DairyNZ, Zespri, KPMG and NZ Wine. Waikato University's Jacqueline Rowarth, a professor of agricultural science, and Jim Webster from AgResearch are also scheduled to make a presentation. 

The richness of the local countryside, as well as a selection of great food and wine is sure to give attendees something to write home about, not to mention the tour of the near-by film set of Hobbiton used in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films – how does dinner at The Shire's own Green Dragon sound?

Putting Kiwi agriculture on show

The fact that the congress is taking place in our own back yard provides a vital opportunity to shine a light on some of the world-leading and innovative agricultural systems that characterise the primary sector here – from dairy farming to horticulture and viticulture. 

A New Zealand based congress has long been a subject of interest for IFAJ members, according to Hugh Stringleman, Chairman of the congress organising committee.

"Many said a congress in NZ would fulfil a life-long dream to see first-hand the origin of NZ's reputation for primary production. With the help of sponsors and a hard-working local committee we have delivered a congress three years in the making, by a writers' guild of only 100 members."

Mr Stringleman continues that the congress will welcome delegates from throughout North America, Scandinavia, Australia, Europe and the UK, with some of the younger journalists being sponsored by Alltech and Du Pont Pioneer.

"IFAJ Congress 2015 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for NZ agricultural farmers, journalists and communicators to show off their country and their workday passions," he concludes. 

The IFAJ 2015 congress will showcase New Zealand's agricultural industry.