The Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists is thrilled to congratulate award-winning rural broadcaster Megan Hughes, who has been selected as just one of 10 participants in a unique international young leadership program.
The IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Award was established in 2006 by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and Alltech to recognize emerging leaders in agricultural journalism and communications from around the world.
Originally from Queensland but now based in South Australia, Ms Hughes will represent Australia at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists congress in Denmark in June.
As an IFAJ/Alltech Young Leader, she will also take part in a professional development and networking boot camp with reporters from Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sweden and The Gambia.
President of the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists Kallee Buchanan said Ms Hughes continued the strong tradition of Australian reporters representing on the world stage.
“Megan is a shining example of the kind of reporter that will be needed to keep telling agricultural stories as new platforms and challenges emerge,” she
“A true all rounder, passionate about rural issues and capable of fiercely telling stories on any platform, she shows why Australian agricultural story tellers are consistently among the best in the world.”
Ms Hughes started her career as a radio news reader in Cairns but has also worked as a TV journalist before joining the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a rural reporter in 2019. In 2020 she won the radio and TV categories at the Queensland Rural Media Awards, as well as the overall excellence in journalism prize.
Most recently she moved to Mount Gambier in South Australia to take up a rural reporter position there, where she works as a multi-platform reporter presenting radio programs, filing TV stories and writing online articles. She’s reported on major agricultural news from the sugar industry’s legal battle against India at the World Trade Organisation to natural disasters like fire and drought to China’s trade ban against Australia.
President and CEO of Alltech Dr Mark Lyons said the importance of strong agricultural journalism in today’s world could not be overstated.
“We are proud to support the next generation of journalists who are passionate about sharing the real stories of the farm and field, and the men and women who work tirelessly to feed our planet,” he said.
IFAJ secretary general Adalberto Rossi said the program had helped strengthen many individual careers, as well supporting many IFAJ member guilds.
“Bringing together these talented, motivated and energetic young professionals is always a highlight of the year, and this will be especially so after the disruption of the pandemic,” he said.
“Many of our organization’s dedicated volunteers are alumni of the Young Leaders program, which is true testament to how it helps build IFAJ year after year.”
In addition to global recognition, Young Leaders participate in professional development and networking programs held in conjunction with IFAJ’s annual Congress. The IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders program is a key force in developing the next generation of volunteers for IFAJ and its member guilds.