Plenty of interest for pig industry in 2018 Nuffield Scholarships

The next batch of Nuffield Scholars has been announced, including three whose research will be of real interest to the pig industry.

Among the 19 new Scholars selected to commence their travels and research in 2018, is Caroline Kealey, JSR’s director of meat science. She will investigate developing and existing technologies for carcass grading and payment that can improve UK meat quality through producer/processor incentivisation.

Coming up with a new pricing mechanism to incentivise better pork quality has been identified as one approach to trying to halt the ongoing decline in pork sales, including in AHDB’s current three-year strategy. The current payment mechanism, based on backfat, has been described as outdated.

AHDB’s Charlotte Evans has also been awarded a scholarship to examine what the industry can learn from human medicine. Her topic is ‘Point of care diagnostics: What can we learn from the medical industry?’

Also of interest to the pig sector, Angela Kirkwood, from Yorkshire, will dedicate her scholarship to the subject of ‘Growing the British pig industry’.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “Congratulations to the new scholars on being selected as part of the 2018 batch. We wish them both the best of luck and look forward to seeing what comes out of their research.”

The successful scholars were carefully selected from a large group of strong applicants on the basis that they have the ability to lead positive change in farming, food, horticulture and other rural sectors, as well as inspiring passion and potential in others along the way.

Mike Vacher (pictured), Nuffield director, said: “I’m confident that we’ve selected candidates that are passionate about their subject, will rise to the challenge, and enhance the future of British farming.”

The Scholarships will be formally awarded at the Nuffield Farming Conference in Bristol this November, after which, the Scholars will start their studies that last for an 18-month period. “They’ll have the chance to travel for at least eight weeks to investigate their topic and explore global practices, thanks to funding from generous sponsors,” Mr Vacher said.

The NPA’s senior policy advisor Georgina Crayford is currently in the middle of her 2017 Nuffield Scholrship into strategies to change farmer behaviour regarding antibiotic use on farm. She has already tavelled to Asia, South America, North America and Europe.

The 2018 Nuffield Farming Scholars are:

Adam Banks (Lincolnshire, East Midlands) ‘Insects as Food: Opportunities and challenges to farming insects for human consumption in the UK’

Mark Dewes (Warwickshire, West Midlands) ‘Can UK agronomy learn from best practice abroad to better serve arable farmers with advice and crop protection inputs?’

Neil Eastham (Yorkshire, Northern) ‘How can UK dairy farmers use genomics to breed a better herd?’

Charlotte Evans (Northamptonshire, East Midlands) ‘Point of care diagnostics: What can we learn from the medical industry?

Jonathan Gill (Shropshire, West Midlands) ‘How do we embrace automation in agriculture?’

Martin Gott (Cumbria, Northern) ‘The prevalence and importance of indigenous bacterial cultures in raw milk cheese’

Richard Harrison (Kent, South East) ‘Where next for soft fruit in the UK? Addressing the yield gap and providing a path to 500 t/ha’

Caroline Kealey (Lincolnshire, East Midlands) ‘Investigate developing and existing technologies for carcass grading and payment that can improve UK meat quality through producer/processor incentivisation’

Angela Kirkwood (Yorkshire, Northern) ‘Growing the British pig industry’

Katy Mayne (Shropshire, West Midlands) ‘Agriculture & the natural environment – developing cross sector relationships to benefit future policy’

James McIntosh (Scotland) ‘Explore new ways in which eggs can be marketed to maintain a steady increase in egg consumption’

Emily Norton (Norfolk, Anglia) ‘Breaking the silos – best practice in global agricultural policy for farm business innovation’

Barry O’Boyle (Northern Ireland) ‘Can Farm subsidies be revolutionised after Brexit to drive Innovation?’

Tom Ormesher (Sussex, South East) ‘Water for business growth, regulation, markets and stewardship’

Alexandra Parker (Surrey, South East) ‘Where corporate meets family in business’

Christopher Rose (Norfolk, Anglia) ‘On-farm anaerobic digestion: maximising use and enhancing the value of CO2, heat and nutrients’

Jenna Ross (Scotland) ‘Riding the slime wave: Gathering global data to enhance slug control in the UK’

Angus Selby (Surrey, South East) ‘Can Institutional Investment Capital Provide Opportunities for Family Farmers and Young Farmers in the UK?’

Joseph Towers (Lancashire, Northern) ‘Procurement of Asparagopsis taxiformis for trial in UK dairy system for methane reduced dairy products’

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.