Although it is still gaining traction in the U.S., the Nuffield International Farming Scholars program is an elite opportunity for producers across the globe. Each year, a group of 60 farmers and professionals in related industries are selected as scholars and embark on an international journey to study key agricultural issues, develop a worldwide network and build leadership skills.
You can join the ranks of this prestigious group by applying for a Nuffield Farming Scholarship. The scholarship, valued at $30,000 and supported by TIAA Global Agriculture, includes 16 weeks of travel over the span of two years. Applicants must be between the ages of 28 and 40, though other ages will be considered.
Applicants select one of six study topics. Examples include farmland ownership models, environmental impacts and farm technology.
“This program gets you out of your comfort zone and highlights the importance of thinking globally about production ag,” says Jean Lonie, U.S. honorary ambassador at Nuffield International.
This year’s scholarship program kicked off with a conference in Cavan, Ireland, and hosted U.S. delegate Kyle Amos, a farmland manager in College Station, Texas.
“I applied because I wanted to get some perspectives on global agriculture,” says Amos, who says he was amazed by the diversity of geographies, crops and farm size represented. “You really create lifetime connections who are experts on a variety of issues.”
Applications are due Oct. 31, 2016. The 2017 finalists will be interviewed in November and December. Winning scholars will start the program at the Contemporary Scholars Conference in Brazil in March.
To download an application and learn more, visit nuffieldinternational.org.
Four Components Of A Nuffield Scholarship
The Nuffield International Farming Scholars program involves two years of international travel and agricultural networking. Here’s an overview of what participants will experience.
- Contemporary Scholars Conference: A weeklong program in March for newly selected scholars, conference participants are introduced to a network of farmers and ag industry professionals. Speakers share insights on trade and policy issues, and scholars develop skills in leadership at practical and political levels.
- Global Focus Program: For six to seven weeks, scholars travel the globe to investigate agricultural marketing, trade and environmental issues, all while experiencing the social and cultural aspects of each region. These trips include visits to countries such as New Zealand, China, Brazil, Kenya, Ireland, France, India, Mexico, Indonesia, Japan, Israel, Canada, Germany, Poland and the U.S.
- Private Study: After the conference and focus program, scholars embark on a seven- to eight-week individual study program that enables them to travel to countries of choice on a study topic relevant to agriculture.
- Reporting: Scholars write a report on their experience and study topic, which includes what they discovered, what this means for their investor and the ag industry, as well as how it will make a demonstrative change to their business. The written report is followed by a verbal presentation at an agricultural conference.