The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has announced the winner and runner-up for the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ NOAH Writer/Broadcaster of the Year 2014 award.

First prize went to Rachel Queenborough, whose article on strategies to prevent pneumonia in calves, published in the XLVets Livestock Matters newsletter, was recognised as a well-researched piece of technical writing.

The panel of three judges also felt that it offered useful, practical advice on the responsible use of medicines, while highlighting the practical challenges that farmers face when rearing calves.

The piece scored particularly highly for its content, impact and value to the farming audience.

Rachel said: “My aim was to write an article that every calf rearer would find useful in some way. Preventing pneumonia in calves is not always straightforward, so there was plenty of material to get stuck into.

“I hoped it would be of benefit to farmers and now — several months down the line – it’s really great to find that I’m getting a benefit from it too. I’m thrilled to have won!

“I’d like to thank Joanne Sharpe at XLVets who lets me have a pretty free rein on the articles I write for the newsletter, and the vets Vikki Wyse and Colin Lindsay and their two clients who gave up their time to talk to me.”

Runner-up was Rachael Porter, editor of Cow Management magazine, for her article on hoof trimming and the “dos and don’ts” of preventing and tackling lameness.

She said: “I’m delighted the article has been recognised. At Cow Management we always like to be first with new ideas and ways of thinking. Lameness is a very serious issue but quite a common problem – so I was keen for the article to offer real, practical advice that would highlight some of the issues.”

The judges scored Rachael highly on accuracy, clarity and the value of her article to the farming audience.

The awards, which were presented at the NOAH annual dinner in London last night, are given to a writer or broadcaster who submits a news story, or feature, which best highlights critical aspects of animal health, welfare and management, or examines topical and relevant issues on any aspect of farm animal care. The winner receives a cheque for £750, and the runner up a cheque for £250.

NOAH Head of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, Donal Murphy, who sat on the panel of judges for the award, said: “All of the entries this year were of an excellent standard, which made the judges’ lives quite difficult. This award continues to show the talent and professionalism from agricultural journalists who provide valuable information for farmers involved in the care of Britain’s farm animals. Articles like these make a significant contribution to animal health and welfare, and NOAH is proud to support it.”

22 May 2015

Notes for Editors

  1. The National Office of Animal Health represents the UK animal medicines industry: its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals.

  2. Rachel Queenborough’s article “Strategies to prevent pneumonia in calves” was published in XL Vets Livestock Matters in autumn 2014.

  3. Rachael Porter’s article “The perfect pedicure” was published in Cow Management in October/November 2014.

  4. High-res images of the winner and runner-up receiving their awards are available on request. Please contact: Craig Robinson at Kendalls on 01394 610022 or email