The John Forrest Memorial Award is an annual residential communications training course, held over three days, at Madingley Hall near Cambridge. Training is provided by Susie Emmett of Green Shoots Productions, specialists in media and communication training. The thirteenth annual course will be held from 3 to 5 January 2023.
The Award is offered free of charge to eight East Anglian agriculturists for whom clear communication skills will be integral to their careers. Participants may be a mixture of PhD students in their final year, young people working in the agricultural professions and farmers who are expected to take a leading role in some aspect of agriculture in the future.
The £12,000 Award is managed by the Felix Cobbold Trust (FCT), and is funded jointly with The Morley Agricultural Foundation (TMAF). The selection committee is comprised of the Forrest Family, FCT, TMAF and personal friends who knew John for many years.
The communications course
The course content includes:
- Planning and delivering presentations
- Speaking in public
- Creating pictures in the listeners minds
- Being proactive and getting reported
- Preparing for, and being interviewed by radio, print and TV journalists
- Taking better pictures for presentations and more
- Leading a group meeting and facilitating useful discussion
- Applying successfully for grants and scholarships
- Using social media professionally
- Filming – how to plan, shoot, edit, upload, and use film
The level of participation and commitment expected is high, with participants staying in residence at Madingly Hall for the entire course. The training is challenging, involving written and interactive exercises continuing well into each evening.
John Forrest was an innovative, inventive, and progressive farmer from Stonham Aspal in Suffolk, who was involved with several agricultural organisations, including The Morley Agricultural Foundation, Otley College, the Suffolk Agricultural Association, and at the time of his death was chairman of the Felix Cobbold Trust. He was concerned that scientists, farming leaders, consultants, and professionals in the ancillary industries should be effective communicators. After his sudden and unexpected death in April 2008 his family and friends decided to further his particular interests in encouraging better communication by establishing the John Forrest Memorial Award in his memory.
We now have a full complement of applicants for the course to be held at Madingley Hall from 3 to 5 January 2023. However, we are always looking for good, worthy candidates who will make a difference to the agriculture industry and are happy to receive applications for the next course at any time. Application forms are available from Colin Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.