Four of Australia’s leading grain growers focused on a more innovative, resilient and sustainable sector, have been awarded Grains Research and Development (GRDC) supported Nuffield Farming Scholarships for 2020. 

Announced at the Nuffield National Conference Annual Awards Dinner in Brisbane, Twenty-two 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. 

Speaking at the Nuffield National Conference, GRDC Chairman Mr. John Woods emphasised the importance of industry challenging its thinking to continue to innovate. 

“Australian growers are recognised early adopters. Programs like Nuffield allow our best and brightest to look at practices internationally and bring back ideas back to be adapted to an Australian context.” Mr. Woods said

“Our Nuffield scholars will share their insights and learnings with their peers, informing others of the opportunities in their farming system”.

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. 

“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 four 2020 GRDC supported Nuffield Farming Scholars are;

  • Jarrod Amery from Forbes, NSW, 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).
  • Andrew Todd from Dowerin, WA, 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.
  • Dustin Pascoe from Raywood, VIC, supported by the Grains Research & Development Corporation, will research the benefits of grazing crops to fill the winter feed gap in a changing climate.

Mitchell Henderson from Berriwillock, VIC, supported by the Grains Research & Development Corporation, will use his scholarship to research alternative fertiliser and weed control measures for grain producers.