Jon Morgan top of the world in print journalism

Posted: 27-Oct-2015

A slightly stunned NZFarmer’s Jon Morgan came away victorious with the 2015 IFAJ Star Prize for Print Journalism, beating his 13 international colleagues with a story about a Kiwi merino producer, which was published in NZ Farmer.

Pictured right, Jon (left) is receiving his award from Mark Hamilton-Manns, representing award sponsor John Deere, IFAJ secretary-general Riitta Mustonen holds the trophy (photo Peter Drury).

The judges commented that the article ‘Breeding the ideal Kiwi Romney’ which appeared in NZ Farmer on 6 October 2014 was an “Excellent portrayal of New Zealand farmer and breeder. Written in rich metaphorical language, the story discovers the essence of the success in Romney breeding. Brilliant literary style, understandable, factual.” Another said “Loved the top and tailing of the old bones to start and finish.”

Commenting on the high standard of the award’s entries, the judges coordinator Charl van Rooyen, deputy editor of South Africa’s Landbouweekblad said: “In the end these entries show how resilient farmers all over the world are and how they manage to be not only a farmer, but also a manager, vet, financial expert, advisor to other farmers and also husband and father.”

The IFAJ Star Prize for print journalism is sponsored by John Deere. The winner receives a certificate, gold IFAJ pin and €1,000 cash prize. Fourteen stories were entered into the award, each guild being allowed to submit one entry The three judges were Charl van Rooyen, Slovakian Josef Sedlak and Pip Courtney, a journalist from ABC Australia.

Benedict Collins was commended with second prize in the broadcast category with a radio item he did for Radio New Zealand about the climate change challenges faced by food producers. That category was won by Australian ABC radio journalist Charlie McKillop for an item on halal slaughter of animals.

Further information about the other awards can be found at

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