‘Hi, are you a Nuffield Scholar?’ ‘Uhhhhh Yes.’ So began my Nuffield adventure as I bumped into a fellow new
scholar as I waited for my flight out of Adelaide, enroute to Launceston in Tasmania for the Nuffield Australia National Conference. I am a Nuffield Scholar. I really am. If you’re reading this it’s because as of last night (Thursday) I’m one of Australia’s 2015 Nuffield Scholars.
It’s hard to believe and a real privilege for which I’m very grateful. But for what? I can hear my non-agricultural readers asking what a Nuffield Scholarship is and why I’m so excited about it. Well the Nuffield Australia website describes what they do as thus:
Nuffield Australia awards Scholarships each year to farmers in Australia. The objective is to increase practical farming knowledge and management skills and techniques generally. These scholarships give Australian citizens the opportunity to study farming practices in New Zealand, Europe, Asia and the Americas and those countries best suited to the Scholar. They will also promote a closer understanding between farmers in the countries visited.
Upon returning to Australia it is expected that Scholars will be able to actively spread the knowledge and understanding they have gained among their fellow farmers and others.
Nuffield Farming Scholarships give a unique opportunity to stand back from your day-to-day occupation, and to study a subject of interest to you. You do not need academic qualifications, but you will need to persuade the Selectors that you have the qualities to make the best use of an opportunity that is only given to a few.
There are three main components to my scholarship:
- The Global Focus Program – An organised group study tour of approximately 5 different countries looking at and learning about agricultural industries in various parts of the world. This includes something called the ‘Contemporary Scholars Conference’ which is a global conference of all the Nuffield Scholars from around the world in 2015. Some of the places I’ll get to tour on my GFP include New Zealand, USA, Mexico and the UK.
- Private Study Program – A further study program that allows me to travel to various places around Australia and the world looking at a topic of my choice (!!!!) in further depth.
- A written & verbal report – I’ll submit a report on the experiences and knowledge gained on my travels, particularly focusing on my study topic.
The topic I’m intending to study further is ‘The Rise of Big Data In Agriculture.’ I’ll explore and explain that topic further in another post, but for now I’m excited about this huge opportunity and really can’t wait to get stuck into it. Three of my biggest passions are travel, technology and agriculture and this next 12-18 months will give me the chance to pursue these passions in ways that I never imagined.