Twenty-two of Australia’s leading primary producers focused on a more innovative, resilient and sustainable agricultural sector, have tonight been awarded Nuffield Farming Scholarships for 2020.
Announced at the Nuffield National Conference Annual Awards Dinner in Brisbane, the 2020 Nuffield Scholars will receive a $30,000 bursary to research new agricultural technologies and techniques, and visit leading farm enterprises around the world on a 16-week travel program.
The 2020 Scholars will seek to address some of agriculture’s crucial priorities, like ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources, attracting and retaining the best talent in farm businesses, identifying new markets and product premiums, and adopting technology to boost on-farm performance.
Nuffield Australia Interim CEO, Jodie Redcliffe, said the 2020 Scholars and their study topics reflect the modern mindset of Australian farming, and are a cohort with a shared vision to collaborate and cultivate new agricultural practices for the betterment of the sector.
“For almost 70 years, Nuffield Australia has been supporting the best and brightest in Australian agriculture, and we are again excited to announce our newest Scholars for 2020, a group focused on building a stronger, more sustainable sector,” Ms Redcliffe said.
“With the generous support of their investors, Scholars will gain access to world-class producers, agribusinesses and research institutions to conduct valuable research, and share these findings and insights with Australian producers once they return home.
Ms Redcliffe thanked investors for their ongoing contribution to fostering the next generation of talent in Australian agriculture, and congratulated 2020 Scholarship recipients on their forward-looking choice of study topics.
“There is a real focus on the community amongst our 2020 group, with topics ranging from the adoption of regenerative principles to improve land management practices, to the prioritisation of nutrition in guiding cropping decisions, and researching the sector’s socio-economic impact in overseas markets, among many others” she said.
“These Scholars will sow the seeds of change and their findings will act as a springboard for industry growth. In particular, their focus reflects the changing relationship between producers and consumers, and looks at how the sector is continually evolving to meet societal expectations across all aspects of food and fibre production.”
The National Conference is Nuffield Australia’s flagship event, providing a meeting point for more than 250 Australian farmers and agricultural innovators, to share the latest research findings with industry and to network with the broader agribusiness supply chain.
The 2020 Nuffield Scholars, and their investors, are:
Alexandra (Tess) Camm from St Lawrence, supported by The Yulgilbar Foundation, will investigate ways to increase the value of beef co-products, particularly their potential use in biodegradable packaging, opportunities in emerging markets for nutritional and pharmaceutical products, and alternatives to the rendering process.
Brooke Barkla from Toowoomba, supported by ANZ Bank and Nuffield Australia Alumni, which in 2020 is entitled the ‘Ian Macintosh’ Scholarship, will research the socio-economic impacts of the Australian live export industry in existing and emerging markets.
Nicholas Krebs from Moura, supported by Meat & Livestock Australia, will investigate new ways to attract and retain more people into beef enterprises and help position the industry as a long-term career choice.
Sarah Keough from Strathalbyn, supported by Wine Australia, will investigate new and emerging irrigation methods to reduce vineyard crop losses and sustain fruit quality during extreme heat events.
New South Wales
Bernie Byrnes from Gunning, supported by Westpac Agribusiness, will investigate the current opportunities and risks associated with purchasing farmland, seeking to identify trends relating to agricultural land values and lease rates.
Billy Browning from Narromine, supported by the Australian Department of Agriculture and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, will investigate the value adding of irrigation water and increased utilisation of low-flow water.
James Alexander from Boorowa, supported by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, will research how mixed farming businesses can solve common land management issues, such as reduced ground cover and soil health.
Jarrod Amery from Forbes, supported by the Grains Research & Development Corporation, will research what it takes to build and maintain a successful farm business and achieve a sustainable Return on Assets Managed (ROAM).
Luke Cantrill from Nashdale, supported by Woolworths, will research drivers of success in overseas horticulture and viticulture businesses, international production systems, export opportunities and the cold chain.
Richard Quigley from Trangie, supported by the Cotton Research & Development Corporation and Cotton Australia, will investigate cropping systems and methods to retain more crop residue in zero-tillage farming systems.
Tom Hooke from Wanganella, supported by Australian Wool Innovation, will research innovative regenerative agriculture principles to apply to Australian pastoral sheep enterprises.
Tammy Kruckow from Katherine, supported by the Australian Agricultural Company, Consolidated Pastoral Company, Elders and S. Kidman & Co, will research how the northern pastoral industry can successfully retain and develop its workforce.
Albertus Hanekom from Kununurra, supported by the Fisheries Research & Development Corporation, will research pathways for the aquaculture and Barramundi industries to grow more seafood and better manage stock levels.
Andrew Todd from Dowerin, supported by the Grains Research & Development Corporation, will research ways that growing family farms can take the leap from an owner-operator structure to an owner-manager structure.
Paula-Lee Pownall from West Coolup, supported by the WA branch of Nuffield Australia, will investigate how to scale an insect production facility using the latest technology and research. She will also study the policies, procedures and supply chains of the emerging insect protein industry.
Andrew Ham from Windermere, supported by the William Buckland Foundation, will research ways to increase agricultural efficiencies through alternative renewable energy sources and better utilisation of agricultural waste products.
Catherine Velisha from Werribee, supported by Hort Innovation, will undertake research into how horticultural family businesses can build and harness the skills they need to be competitive in the marketplace.
Dustin Pascoe from Raywood, supported by the Grains Research & Development Corporation, will research the benefits of grazing crops to fill the winter feed gap in a changing climate.
Harry Kelly from Caramut, supported by Rabobank Australia, will research ways for the Australian agriculture industry to multiply profitable business models, retain the right people and embrace change to become a more attractive investment.
Jason Cotter from Tuerong, supported by the William Buckland Foundation, will research ways to restore flavour, nutrition and sustainability as key drivers in grain production systems.
Johnny Gardner from Cavendish, supported by the William Buckland Foundation, will research sheep management, price incentives, market access and environmental changes across the supply chain.
Mitchell Henderson from Berriwillock, supported by the Grains Research & Development Corporation, will use his scholarship to research alternative fertiliser and weed control measures for grain producers.