Members of the Guild who would make good use of an opportunity to study and report on a key aspect of agriculture, commercial horticulture or forestry have until the end of July to apply for a Nuffield Farming scholarship.
The scholarships provide funding and practical support for studies that could help influence the future prosperity of rural industries.
Amy Jackson of Oxtale PR (pictured) is one of 22 scholars completing their studies. She is looking at large-scale dairying; past Guild Member scholars include freelancers Caroline Stocks, who investigated the challenges of communicating effectively with farmers, and Sara Gregson, who explored ways to encourage UK farmers to make more of their grassland.
The study and travel bursaries are available to individuals between 22 and 45 years of age who have been engaged in farming, rural land-based industries, food industries or agricultural associated industries for at least two years. Studies must involve at least eight weeks of international travel during the 18-month scholarship and result in a comprehensive report to the Trust.
Amy Jackson’s study Removing barriers to large scale dairy farming, partly resulted from her public relations work for the proposed Nocton Dairy in Lincolnshire once the initial planning application was turned down.
“The debate about this proposal and the issue of large-scale livestock farming in general has polarised opinion in the industry and beyond,” says Amy. “Mainstream and social media have highlighted a huge gap between consumer understanding and the reality of farming; this, and fear from smaller scale farmers about how large scale farming might impact their future, is what has triggered my interest in the subject.”
The Trehane Trust-sponsored scholarship has taken Amy to Israel, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Holland, France, the USA and Canada to evaluate the opinions of farmers, politicians and the public; examine the technical and scientific issues; and study examples of best practice and innovation in large-scale dairying and other sectors, such as pig and poultry.
Feed-back from her scholarship has already begun in the shape of a series of articles in British Dairyingpublished by Guild Friend Malcolm Bridges and edited by Guild Member Mike Green, and Amy will present a detailed report at the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust conference in November.
For details of what a scholarship entails and how to apply, visit the website of the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust.