Dr Katharina Seuser has been appointed as the new chairman of the European Network of Agricultural Journalists (ENAJ), during the group’s annual general meeting held at the Agromek agricultural fair, in Herning, Denmark.
Praising the achievements of Jef Verhaeren, the veteran Belgian journalist and founding chairman of ENAJ since its inception in Brussels five years ago, Dr Seuser called him the ‘heart and soul’ of ENAJ and committed herself to continuing to develop the group, adding more members and increasing the range and scope of activities, especially those for young journalists.
Although elections for the nine positions on the management committee took place in January 2016, when Jef Verhaeren first expressed his wish to stand down as chairman, the committee asked him to stay on for 12 months to allow Dr Seuser – president of the German guild VDAJ – to complete her involvement as organiser of the IFAJ’s 2016 Congress.
Dr Seuser, 55, has been Professor of Journalism and Media Production at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences since March 2008. She holds a PhD in animal nutrition and previously worked as a freelance agricultural journalist before moving into teaching and research.
In recognition of his lasting contribution to ENAJ, Verhaeren was asked to remain on the committee as ‘honorary president’.
The AGM also saw a new member appointed to the management committee: Nicole Ouvrard, president of the French Agricultural Journalists’ Association (AFJA), was co-opted to the committee to replace Erik Massin, who has stepped down. Massin is a former editor-in-chief at Betteravier Francais.
The full management committee now comprises Dr Seuser (chairwoman, Germany); Lisa Bellocchi (vice-chairwoman, Italy); Hans Siemes (treasurer, the Netherlands); Damien O’Reilly (secretary-general, Ireland); Adrian Bell (communications officer, United Kingdom); Adrian Krebs (trip co-ordinator, Switzerland); Tatjana Cop (young journalists, Slovenia); Jef Verhaeren (honorary president, Belgium); and Nicole Ouvrard, France.