NSW reporter runner-up for world leadership award

New South Wales rural journalist Samantha Townsend (pictured) has been recognised for her outstanding commitment to the future of agricultural storytelling through a significant new award created by global agri-business Alltech and the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ).

Sam, senior reporter with The Land newspaper,  was runner-up in the inaugural IFAJ-Alltech International Award for Leadership in Agricultural Journalism announced during the Allech ONE19 Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, this week.

The winner was Denene Erasmus, editor of South Africa’s largest English-language agricultural publication – Farmer’s Weekly.

ACAJ President Pete Lewis said it was another wonderful result for Sam Townsend personally and for Australian Ag Journalism more generally.

“Once again we have been recognised for being among the most innovative , interesting and energetic rural writers , broadcasters and photographers in the world,” he said.

“Sam brings an energy and enthusiasm to everything she tackles.

“Over the past decade she has not only built an award-winning portfolio of rural journalism but emerged as a leader, at a time of great upheaval and uncertainty in our industry.”

Pete said Sam has embraced new technology, new ways of storytelling and change as adroitly as anyone working in the media.

“But what really makes her such a standout in what is often a selfish, cut-throat business is her cheerful, generous and collegiate attitude.

“Sam has had the opportunity to take part in IFAJ events and this has given her an insight and appreciation into the value of networking and collaborating on a global scale.

“She has grabbed these opportunities with both hands and produced a rich and diverse range of stories.”

Pete said Sam embodies that old adage ‘if you want to get things done, find the busiest person you know’.

“She manages to balance the demands of her job, her young family and a hobby farm plus finds time to serve on the executive of her national guild and the organising committee for IFAJ2021.

“We’re proud to have Sam represent us at one of the world’s premier ag ideas events and we’re certain she will leave an indelible impression on everyone she comes in contact with this week in Kentucky.”