2020 Nuffield scholarships now open

By: Cat Fitzpatrick

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There are 25 Nuffield scholarships available of $30,000 to support farming research

2020 Nuffield scholarships now open
An agricultural nutritionist checks silage and feeds for a Holstein dairy herd. Image courtesy Alamy


Applications are now open for the 2020 Nuffield Scholarship program, and Nuffield Australia is urging young farmers with a desire to drive their knowledge and businesses forward to apply.

This year, there are more than 25 Nuffield Scholarships on offer, each valued at $30,000, to allow the successful applicants to study a topic relevant to their business and the broader grains industry. The application period will close on Friday June 14.

Farms & Farm Machinery often features stories about former Nuffield scholarship winners - our most recent was about South Australia's Mark Branson. Check out the story here

To be awarded a 2020 scholarship, an application and interview process is held in 2019 and travel commences in 2020.

Interim Nuffield Australia CEO and 2013 Scholar Jodie Redcliffe says that the program sows the seeds of change for farmers, and acts as a springboard for growth that sees individuals, businesses and agricultural industries flourish.

"Over an 18-month period, Nuffield Scholars embark on a global study program undertaking a total of 16 weeks of individual and group travel to delve into their chosen study topic," Redcliffe says.

"The program launches scholars into an innovative learning environment where they can cultivate new ideas, drive practice change, and forge lifelong associations with likeminded agribusiness leaders around the world.

"It provides an unrivalled opportunity for current, emerging and future agricultural leaders to collaborate with a global network of trailblazing farmers, agribusiness and institutions."

Previous areas of research undertaken by Nuffield scholars include uncovering the potential of protected cropping in tropical Australia and fostering innovation in rice growing.

Duncan Macdonald, a 2017 Nuffield scholar, recently released a report based on his research into utilising technology for decision making in pasture-based dairy farming.

A dairy farmer based near Burnie, Tasmania, Macdonald investigated new collection and processing options for farm data.

"Farmers are no longer constricted to PC-based software, with web-based software now readily available and terms like drones, big data, internet of things, machine learning and artificial intelligence becoming common place," Macdonald says.

"However, a divide still exists between the plethora of these products and services, and the actual uptake on farm, especially in the Australian dairy industry where adoption of Agtech has been fairly low."

Macdonald’s research looked into current and emerging technology, such as wearable sensors for cows to monitor oestrus, lameness and calving for example.  He also looked into software and network options for collating information and maximising decision making from the technology, in areas such as pasture management.

"My travels reinforced that digital agriculture must build on our strengths as an industry, such as our seasonal calving pastured dairy systems, which are inherently robust and simple in their success," he says.

Successful recipients of the 2020 Nuffield Scholarships will be announced during the Nuffield Australia National Conference taking place at the EKKA precinct in Brisbane, September 17-19, 2019.

For more information and to apply, visit: https://nuffield.com.au 

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