Vic­to­rian Nuffield schol­ars an­nounced for next year

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

A SHEEP farmer from out near Hor­sham, and an or­ganic veg­etable grower from near Morn­ing­ton have both been named as the 2019 Vic­to­rian Nuffield Schol­ars.

An­thony Close and Natasha Shields will each re­ceive $30,000 bur­saries to travel around the globe while con­duct­ing re­search into their cho­sen study top­ics.

Sheep pro­ducer An­thony, from Culla, will use his Aus­tralian Wool In­no­va­tion (AWI) sup­ported schol­ar­ship to in­ves­ti­gate ways the Merino can once again be­come a prom­i­nent fea­ture of the Aus­tralian farm­ing land­scape.

With sup­port from the Wil­liam Buck­land Foun­da­tion, veg­etable pro­ducer Natasha Shields, from Bax­ter, will use her Nuffield Schol­ar­ship to in­ves­ti­gate pack­ag­ing op­tions and shelf-life out­comes for or­ganic pro­duce to min­imise the use of plas­tics in Aus­tralia’s re­tail en­vi­ron­ment.

Chair of Nuffield’s Vic­to­rian State Com­mit­tee, and 2013 Nuffield Scholar, Matthew Ipsen said the se­lec­tion of Mr Close and Ms Shields was re­flec­tive of the state’s proud his­tory of agri­cul­tural in­no­va­tion and growth.

“Vic­to­rian agri­cul­ture has a very pos­i­tive story to tell; pro­duc­ing and ex­port­ing al­most $12 bil­lion of food and fi­bre ev­ery year, more than any Aus­tralian state,” Mr Ipsen said.

“Both Natasha and An­thony will re­search top­ics of great im­por­tance to our state, such as its com­mit­ment to­wards more sus­tain­able pack­ag­ing for fresh pro­duce, and pro­mot­ing Aus­tralian wool, one of the world’s most in-de­mand nat­u­ral fi­bres.

“With the gen­er­ous sup­port of their in­vestors, Natasha and An­thony are about to start the jour­ney of a life­time as they travel the world re­search­ing so­lu­tions to grow a stronger, more sus­tain­able agri­cul­tural sec­tor.”

VIC­TO­RIAN WIN­NER: Sheep pro­ducer An­thony Close (above), from Culla near Hor­sham, will use his Aus­tralian Wool In­no­va­tion (AWI) sup­ported schol­ar­ship to in­ves­ti­gate ways the Merino can once again be­come a prom­i­nent fea­ture of the Aus­tralian farm­ing land­scape.

VEGETABLES ON THE AGENDA: Or­ganic veg­etable pro­ducer Natasha Shields (left) from Bax­ter, will use her Nuffield Schol­ar­ship to in­ves­ti­gate ways to ex­tend veg­etable shelf life.

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