Instead of the usual musings on the weather, and what is going on in the vineyard it was suggested that I write about my Nuffield Farming Scholarship.
So what’s it all about?
The Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust award approximately 20 individuals each year with the opportunity to research topics of interest in either farming, food, horticulture and rural industries, or to certain individuals who are in a position to influence these rural industries.
Scholars are able to travel anywhere in the world for a period of no less than 8 weeks to further their knowledge and understanding of their chosen study topic. It’s not just a jolly or an excuse to bunk of work for a part of the year, at the end of it a report is written, published and presented at the Annual Nuffield Farming Conference.
This year’s conference was my first foray into the Nuffield world. Held last month in Newcastle the programme consisted of a briefing day for 2017 scholars, before the main conference kicked off with presentations from previous returning scholars.
Topics varied greatly, from food waste and soil quality to mental health and family business development.
It was a great way to start the journey, and I’m really looking forward to the next 18 months of what should be a life changing opportunity with a great bunch of fellow scholars.
Obviously I’m grateful to the support of my family and all the folks here at Rathfinny as I embark on my scholarship. But I’m also lucky in that we’ve managed to build up a great, reliable, team here in the vineyard, without them I wouldn’t even think about going away. So a big thanks to the vineyard crew.
Oh and what’s my study topic? UK Viticulture, challenges and opportunities.
Of that there are plenty.