ANIMAL welfare, enhancing rates of genetic gain, attracting young people to careers in agriculture and transport impact on cattle wellbeing are among a host of important topics being tackled by beef industry stakeholders who were announced as 2019 Nuffield Scholarship winners last night.
Seventeen of Australia’s leading primary producers have tonight been awarded Nuffield Farming Scholarships for 2019, with women making up the majority of scholars for the first time.
Announced at the Nuffield national conference annual awards dinner in Melbourne, the 2019 Nuffield Scholars will each receive a $30,000 bursary to travel the world to research cutting edge production techniques and technologies across a wide range of industries.
Nuffield CEO, Jodie Dean, said the calibre of the 2019 scholars reflected the innovative spirit inherent in Australian agriculture amidst challenging seasonal conditions, and bucks 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 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, which I believe is indicative of their passion for the long-term viability of the industry,” Ms Dean said.
The National Conference is Nuffield Australia’s flagship event, providing a meeting point for Australian farmers and agricultural innovators to share their latest research findings with industry, and to network with the broader agribusiness supply chain.
Here’s a quick snapshot of 2019 scholars relevant to the beef industry, and their chosen topics:
Rebecca Comiskey (left) from Eidsvold, Queensland supported by The Yulgilbar Foundation, will investigate modern technologies that can be incorporated into beef production systems to increase the rate of genetic gain and enhance key profit drivers such as fertility, market compliance and production efficiencies.
Ellen Litchfield (right) from Marree, South Australia, supported by Westpac Agribusiness, will investigate the impacts of climate change on red meat production and profitability in arid and semi-arid rangelands.
Alistair Corr (left) from Moura, Queensland supported collectively by Australian Agricultural Co, Consolidated Pastoral Co, Elders, North Australian Pastoral Co and S. Kidman & Co, will investigate the effect that a range of wellbeing factors before, during and after transport can have on the production value of cattle.
Clare Peltzer (right) from Evandale, Tasmania supported by MLA, will investigate how the agricultural sector can attract and retain the appropriate talent through better alignment with schools and ag-education programs.
Renée Anderson from Emerald, Queensland supported by Cotton Australia and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, will investigate management practices that improve the social, environmental and economic sustainability of agriculture, and communicate positive farming practices to consumers.
Tamara Uebergang (left) from Miles, supported by the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Foundation, will investigate alternative fuel sources and energy solutions for Australia’s agricultural sector.
Natasha Shields from Baxter, Victoria supported by the William Buckland Foundation, will investigate alternative packaging options and shelf-life outcomes for organic fresh food in the current drive to minimise the use of plastics in Australia’s retail environment.
Thomas Green from Tintinara, South Australia, supported by Rabobank, will research ways to build consumer confidence in intensive agricultural systems through the implementation of best practice in animal welfare.