Schol­ars cho­sen

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

Sev­en­teen of Aus­tralia’s lead­ing pri­mary pro­duc­ers have been awarded Nuffield Farm­ing Schol­ar­ships for 2019, with women mak­ing up the ma­jor­ity of schol­ars for the first time.

The 2019 Nuffield Schol­ars will re­ceive a $30 000 bur­sary to travel the globe to re­search cut­ting-edge pro­duc­tion tech­niques and tech­nolo­gies across a wide range of in­dus­tries.

The 2019 co­hort of schol­ars have se­lected wide-rang­ing study top­ics, from re­gen­er­a­tive prac­tices in wine pro­duc­tion and the im­pact of live­stock well­be­ing on pro­duc­tiv­ity, to al­ter­na­tive fuel sources and en­ergy so­lu­tions for Aus­tralia’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

Nuffield chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jodie Dean said the cal­i­bre of the 2019 schol­ars re­flected the in­no­va­tive spirit in­her­ent in Aus­tralian agri­cul­ture amid chal­leng­ing sea­sonal con­di­tions, and bucked the trend across many in­dus­tries with women mak­ing up the ma­jor­ity of the field.

‘‘For nearly 70 years, Nuffield has been sup­port­ing the best and bright­est in Aus­tralian agri­cul­ture, and we are de­lighted to once again be able to present such a strong and ex­cit­ing group of schol­ars,’’ Ms Dean said.

‘‘Our new schol­ars demon­strate all the qual­i­ties we need in agri­cul­ture. They are in­quis­i­tive, cre­ative and de­ter­mined to pro­duce change and drive the in­dus­try for­ward.

‘‘With the gen­er­ous sup­port of their in­vestors, these schol­ars will be in a po­si­tion to un­earth some of the most ex­cit­ing con­cepts, tech­nolo­gies and trends in global agri­cul­ture, and share their find­ings and in­sights with the wider in­dus­try once they re­turn to Aus­tralia.

‘‘There is a big fo­cus on sus­tain­abil­ity amongst our 2019 schol­ars, with re­search top­ics in­clud­ing ways to re­duce plas­tic use in fresh pro­duce pack­ag­ing and the im­pacts of cli­mate vari­abil­ity on the red meat sec­tor.’’

The Vic­to­rian 2019 Nuffield schol­ars are Natasha Shields from Bax­ter, sup­ported by the Wil­liam Buck­land Foun­da­tion, who will in­ves­ti­gate al­ter­na­tive pack­ag­ing op­tions and shelf-life out­comes for or­ganic fresh pro­duce in the cur­rent drive to min­imise the use of plas­tics in Aus­tralia’s re­tail en­vi­ron­ment; and An­thony Close from Culla, sup­ported by Aus­tralian Wool In­no­va­tion, who will in­ves­ti­gate ways the Merino can be­come a prom­i­nent fea­ture of the Aus­tralian farm­ing land­scape.

Merino push . . . Nuffield scholar An­thony Close.

Re­duc­ing plas­tics . . . Nuffield scholar Natasha Shields.

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