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Nuffield Australia announces 2021 scholars

Grain Central, October 27, 2020

TWENTY of Australia’s leading agriculturalists have been awarded prestigious Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships for 2021.

The new scholars will research innovative global concepts, techniques and systems that will create positive change in their own businesses, communities, and the broader agriculture sector.

Representing a diverse range of agricultural industries and key topic areas, they will undertake a global study program using a $30,000 bursary, researching their chosen topic across 14 weeks.

Nuffield Australia chief executive officer and 2013 scholar, Jodie Redcliffe, said the 2021 scholars were a cohort who had a shared mindset that change, adaptation and innovation are central to the future growth and sustainability of Australia’s agriculture sector and its businesses.

The 2021 Nuffield Scholarship recipients and their investors, are:


Georgia Beattie from Diggers Rest, supported by the William Buckland Foundation, will investigate secondary uses for spent mushroom compost (SMC) and its potential to be used to create mushroom packaging or regenerate soil in Australia.

Michael Densham from Main Ridge, supported by Hort Innovation, will investigate how the design of intensive production systems can drive increased productivity and profitability of small-scale farming operations.

Lucy Collins from Dixie, supported by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, will investigate the value of dairy welfare benchmarking and opportunities for marketing Australian dairy products with an ethical advantage.

Josh McIntosh

South Australia

Hans Loder from Coonawarra, supported by Wine Australia, will investigate vineyard data collection and management options that provide the greatest value and insights for Australian viticulturalists.

Josh McIntosh from Nadda, supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), will investigate soil health improvement methods for broadacre organic production of dryland crops and livestock.


Kelly McTavish from Wamuran, supported by AgriFutures Chicken Meat Program, will investigate how emerging trends and technologies can drive animal welfare improvements in chicken meat farming production systems.

Leisa Sams from Peachester, supported by Woolworths, will investigate advanced management methods for stationary beekeeping operations that improve efficiencies, yield, and facilitate the production of high-quality honey and products within a quality assurance framework.

Pieter van Jaarsveld from Gore, supported by Meat & Livestock Australia, will investigate how crossbreeding rangeland and Boer goats can increase meat production and drive greater productivity and profit to the industry.

Tracey Martin from Home Hill, supported by Australian Agricultural Company Limited, Consolidated Pastoral Company, Elders and S.Kidman & Co, will investigate funding and operational issues that impact the financial sustainability of member groups and associations, which function to support individuals and businesses in the agriculture sector.

Andrew McKillop from Bellmere, supported by the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), will investigate how implementing a stringent food safety culture can drive sustainability and profitability within primary production businesses.

Joshua Maunder from Bellenden Ker, supported by Westpac Agribusiness, will investigate how the agricultural sector can adapt to rapidly changing climatic conditions through more resilient production methods.


Charles Downie from Gretna, supported by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and the JM Roberts Charitable Trust, will investigate how the establishment of training modules and programs in agricultural businesses can help better attract an existing workforce to meet short-term labour requirements.

Western Australia

Friedrich Bolten

Friedrich (Fritz) Bolten from Kununurra, supported by Cotton Australia and ANZ Bank, will investigate solutions to executing time sensitive operations on heavy soils during the wet season.

Camille Camp from Derby, supported by The Yulgilbar Foundation, will investigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and consumer expectations on the future of the northern Australia live export trade.

Kathryn Fleay from Mingenew, supported by CSBP Fertilisers, will explore how educating consumers and promoting career options in agriculture is fundamental to the growth and sustainability of Australia’s agricultural sectors.

Robert Bell from The Plains, supported by AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Program, will investigate how subsurface drainage could be utilised to increase environmental nutrient retention and create more efficient farming practices, while sustainably capturing excess water for irrigation.

New South Wales

Andrew Rolfe from Cooma, supported by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), will research intensive management techniques and models for Merino sheep production, exploring how to develop a productive, sustainable and drought resilient farming system.

Kathryn Fleay

Michael Cains from Robertson, supported by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF), will research the benefits of raw milk cheese (RMC) production for the dairy industry, investigating best-practice approaches to production and RMC’s position within the mature cheese market.

Claire Petterson from Collingullie, supported by Animal Health Australia (AHA) and Plant Health Australia (PHA), will investigate global biosecurity practices that can be implemented in hay production businesses to increase profitability and sustainability for the industry.

Brendan Jarrett from Cargo, supported by Rabobank, will study the latest innovations and best-practice management systems in the wine industry, to help viticulturalists better adapt to increasing climate variability and market pressures.

Source: Nuffield Australia



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