14 September 2023
Australian agriculture is set to benefit from a wide range of new farmer-led research, with Nuffield Australia tonight revealing details of its bumper crop of 2024 Scholars. Twenty-five scholars will travel the world in the next 12 months, studying topics as diverse as drought resilience, climate change, drones, genetics, machine harvesting, and agricultural policy.
Scholars hail from across the agricultural landscape, with backgrounds in livestock production, cropping, horticulture, fishing, and management, among others. The announcement has been made in Perth, where the Nuffield community is gathered tonight at a gala presentation dinner at Optus Stadium. Nuffield Australia CEO and 2013 Scholar, Jodie Redcliffe, says the organisation is excited to award additional scholarships this year, thanks largely to support from the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund.
Five Nuffield 'Drought Resilience Scholarships' have been awarded for 2024, with awardees Ben Poschelk, Caitlin Herbert, Claudia Benn, Michael Taylor, and Natalie Schlitz to undertake research that will help develop and support new ideas to manage dry conditions for longer. "The Drought Resilience Scholars will be investigating innovative practices to help Australian farmers and communities withstand the impacts of drought," Jodie said.
These scholarships are awarded in addition to those funded by Nuffield's generous long-term investors, which will lead to much-needed research in their sectors. Each scholar receives a $35,000 bursary to invest in travel and research. They will visit, learn from, and collaborate with some of the world’s leading agricultural businesses and research institutions.
For more than 70 years Nuffield Scholars have travelled the world, bringing home the latest intelligence, farming practices, and developments to share with their peers. Their scholarship is an investment in themselves and their capacity to lead their business, their community, and their industry by widening their knowledge and networks" Jodie said. The research is driven by farmers, in collaboration with their respective industries – a proven recipe for success, which helps scholars learn and their industries prosper.
2024 Nuffield Scholars Tasmania
Anna Cotton from Swansea. Supported by Rabobank, Anna will focus on how economic and climatic influences have affected family farms in Europe, North and South America, and New Zealand.
Kirsty Dickenson from Devonport. Supported by Hort Innovation under the Rubus Research and Development Levy, Kirsty will investigate ways blackberry and raspberry growers can manage their resources effectively to maximise sustainability.
David Roberts-Thompson from Table Cape. Supported by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and JM Roberts Charitable Trust, David will study opportunities for biological priming of soils to improve crop resilience and production.