Nuffield offers drought resilience scholarships for first time

Sheep Central, March 6, 2023

Queensland grazier Jesse Moody.

NUFFIELD Australia is offering at least five specific drought resilience scholarships for the first time, supported by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

Nuffield Australia chief executive officer Jodie Redcliffe said despite many areas experiencing floods recently, farmers know Australia is prone to drought.

“Of all the climate challenges to affect Australia, drought is one of the most feared and costly in terms of production losses.

“Droughts also bring other emergencies like bushfires and take a toll on the mental health of farmers and their communities,” she said.

“Nuffield is proud to partner with the Future Drought Fund to deliver specific drought resilience scholarships and also to weave the topic through our scholarship programs and training.

“This will give all our scholars the ability, knowledge and experiences to understand the topic and make a difference in their communities.”

Applications for Nuffield Scholarships valued at $35,000 are open now and close on 9 June.

Nuffield Australia will award up to 20 scholarships this year. Scholarships on offer include the five drought resilience scholarships, as well as others covering horticulture, grains, dairy, wool, fisheries, cotton and more.

Nuffield Scholarships are open to all those involved in food and fibre production typically aged between 28 and 45. The bursary allows scholars to travel for 14 weeks over the next two years to study a topic important to their industry.

Ms Redcliffe said the scholarships enable producers to travel the world and bring back the latest ideas and innovations to develop themselves, their businesses and wider agricultural industry.

“Recognising the uncertainty across the globe, we’ve strengthened our focus this year on enhancing the resilience and sustainability of Australian agriculture.”

With international travel back in full swing, Nuffield Australia has groups of scholars travelling to every corner of the globe this year. They include southern Queensland grazier Jesse Moody, who is travelling in Argentina this month to see how producers are managing their livestock operations during drought, and to learn how they make their businesses more resilient.

“In my environment – the rangelands of Queensland – we can’t practically use inputs and other tools to improve soils that are better suited to smaller scale operations in places like New England or Victoria’s Western District,” Jesse said.

Having lived through the devastation of the Millennium drought, Jesse was keen to trial different ways to manage sheep and goats when the next drought hit and lasted most of nine years.

“I tried a few things like moving mobs around and resting country where possible and I thought, ‘we’re onto something here’.

“My Nuffield Scholarship is allowing me to see firsthand how other people are managing conditions and what they’re doing that will make their soils, and businesses, more resilient.”

For the next part of his scholarship program, Jesse will travel from Argentina to Canada. There he will attend a conference with fellow Nuffield Scholars from across the world, and visit a range of agricultural businesses.

Jesse encouraged producers to apply for a Nuffield Scholarship. He said it’s a unique opportunity to travel purposefully and meet a diverse range of people with different experiences and views.

Applications close on Friday 9 June 2023. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed during July and August. Successful recipients will be announced at the Nuffield Australia National Conference in Perth from 10-13 September.

Find out more and apply at



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