Dy­namic sys­tems led to schol­ar­ship in Koah

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS -

THE drive to build on op­por­tu­ni­ties of Queens­land’s vi­brant agri­cul­tural sec­tor has been re­flected in the an­nounce­ment of five in­no­va­tive farm­ers, in­clud­ing Steve Grist from Koah, be­ing awarded pres­ti­gious Nuffield Schol­ar­ships for 2018 for re­search across the beef and hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try.

Steve Grist will re­search how grow­ers can adapt from large broad­acre farms to more dy­namic sys­tems such as Small Plot In­ten­sive (SPIN), bio-in­ten­sive, syn­topic and per­ma­cul­ture farm­ing sys­tems.

Mr Grist be­lieves due to the global chal­lenges of cli­mate change, soil degra­da­tion and pop­u­la­tion growth, the in­dus­try will need to de­velop more sus­tain­able and ef­fi­cient farms in the fu­ture.

“The ‘Pad­dock to Place’ move­ment is be­com­ing in­creas­ing pop­u­lar. Through this trend and Com­mu­nity Sup­ported Agri­cul­ture op­er­a­tion’s (CSAs), which in­ter­face with a grow­ing por­tion of the pub­lic, there is an in­creas­ing num­ber of pri­mary pro­duc­ers adopt­ing or­ganic and re­gen­er­a­tive prac­tices,” he said.

“As a re­search pri­or­ity, I want to in­ves­ti­gate how to best build and pro­mote th­ese pro­duc­tion sys­tems. For my ben­e­fit and that of the in­dus­try, I want to study the links be­tween the SPIN and Ur­ban farm­ing, in­no­va­tive pro­duc­ers and CSAs.”

Chair of the Queens­land Nuffield Com­mit­tee, Jodie Red­cliffe, who was her­self a 2013 Scholar, said the di­ver­sity of top­ics and cal­i­bre of the schol­ars was re­flec­tive of the in­no­va­tion driv­ing the state’s agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion.

“Our schol­ars will in­ves­ti­gate top­ics that have po­ten­tial to trans­form el­e­ments of their re­spec­tive in­dus­tries and this an­nounce­ment show­cases the breath and depth of knowl­edge, en­thu­si­asm and ap­petite to cap­i­talise upon op­por­tu­ni­ties within Queens­land’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor,” Mrs Red­cliffe said.

Steve Grist

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