Applications for the 2021 Nuffield Scholarship program are now open and farmers wanting to make positive change in their own businesses, communities and the broader agriculture sector will have the chance to do just that.
Each scholarship is valued at $30,000, and with 20 on offer in 2021, the application period will run until Friday, September 11, 2020. Interviews will take place across September and October.
Nuffield Australia CEO and 2013 Scholar Jodie Redcliffe said that although the impact of COVID-19 has led to differences in the 2021 scholarship program, it continues to present an un-rivalled opportunity for emerging change-makers in the industry.
"For 70 years, Nuffield has remained committed to ensuring the delivery of high-quality and valuable scholarship programs that drive industry leadership, particularly through periods of adaptation and change," Ms Redcliffe said.
"With the current changes in both domestic and international markets, tough seasonal conditions and continually shifting consumer demands, agriculture is more challenging than ever, and the future sustainability of our industry depends heavily on innovation and adaptation.
"A Nuffield Scholarship provides a platform to lead this wave of change, by giving inquiring young farmers a life-changing opportunity to take their ideas to the next level."
Scholars undertake a global study program, researching their chosen topic across 14 weeks. Next year's scholars will have a small reduction in the group travel component, shifting from six to four weeks.
"Access to Nuffield's extensive global network is what sets this program apart. It enables participants to learn firsthand how other farm businesses around the world are tackling issues and barriers within the sector. The program opens doors that expose them to divergent thinking which expands their big-picture understanding of topics," she said.
Open to farmers, fishers, and those in associated industries between 28-45 years of age, applying for a Nuffield Scholarship is done online via the Nuffield Australia website.
It is an inclusive and unique program that suits candidates who want to learn and grow in their businesses, and no tertiary qualifications are required.
"We're urging all young people in agriculture to visit the Nuffield website and look into applying. Many successful applicants only fine-tune their research topics as they progress through the process, so I'd encourage people to apply even if they don't yet have a firm research topic in mind," Ms Redcliffe said.
"We continue to deliver a cooperative and collaborative learning experience through this program, and we are here to help with ideas and answer any questions along the way."
The value of a Nuffield Scholarship extends far beyond the completion of the travel and research report.
"On completing their research, scholars become part of our 460-strong Nuffield alumni in Australia and a group of 1,800 worldwide, which is a network of influential and forward-thinking farmers," she said.
Now is the time for Australia's proactive agriculturalists to consider a Nuffield Scholarship that will provide the opportunity to research important rural concepts, techniques and systems that will secure the industry's future in a post-COVID world.
Successful recipients of the 2021 Nuffield Scholarships will be awarded during the Nuffield Australia National Conference to be held in Brisbane on 26 October 2020.
Applications are open from Monday, 29 June to Friday, 11 September 2020. For more information, or to apply, visit http://nuffield.com.au/.