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Ongoing project

Nuffield scholarship (VG14065)

Key research provider: Nuffield Australia

What’s it all about?

This project provides funding to support Nuffield Scholars in the vegetable industry, with one Hort Innovation scholarship being awarded each year of the project’s life from 2016 onwards.

Nuffield Scholarships are a chance for Australians in agriculture to grow their practical knowledge and a broad variety of skills, while heading overseas to study a topic related to their industry.

Application opportunities are advertised in industry channels each year.

Further details on each individual’s scholarship topic and findings can be found below.

Michael Vorassi explored ways to overcome barriers to consumption and the role that value-added vegetables can play. Michael travelled throughout North America, Asia, the United Kingdom and the Middle East as he investigated opportunities to boost consumption through the development and provision of innovative value-added vegetable products.

Read more in Michael’s final research report, Opportunity abounds for value-added vegetables.

Bao Duy Nguyen researched currently available methods for Australian horticulture producers to boost the efficiency and productivity of low-tech greenhouse systems and unlock new market opportunities. Bao travelled the world investigating how low-tech greenhouse operators can become more efficient within their existing production systems.

Read more in Bao’s final research report, Growing more with less: boosting efficiencies in low-tech greenhouses.

Steve Grist researched applications and solutions for small farms to turn waste from a costly problem into a resource. Travelling across the United States, the Netherlands, South America and South-East Asia, Steve sought out ways to recycle waste nutrient and agricultural by-products, and his report highlights solutions that can be integrated into small scale farming systems with little technical know-how and infrastructure. Steve's report reveals what he believes to be the best model of agroforestry in the world, in syntropic farming.

Read more in Steve’s final research report, The circular economy: closed-loop farming systems.

Christina Kelman was awarded a 2019 Scholarship supported by Hort Innovation. Christina is researching ways the horticulture industry can increase outputs while reducing inputs and farming sustainably. She’ll also be investigating the role that experimentation and innovation can play in achieving this in the organic horticulture industry.

Catherine Velisha is researching how horticultural family businesses can build and harness the skills they need to be competitive in the marketplace. Since being awarded her scholarship at the 2019 Nuffield National Conference in September 2019, Catherine has completed her week-long Contemporary Scholars Conference.  Her group and personal travels are currently on-hold due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions. All 2020 scholars’ however, are undertaking research as part of a scholarship plan for the 2021 calendar year.

In October 2020, Michael Densham was awarded a 2021 Scholarship supported by Hort Innovation. Michael will investigate how the design of intensive production systems can drive increased productivity and profitability of small-scale farming operations. Michael co-established Mossy Willow Market Garden and is the outgoing farm manager at Mossy Willow Farm, a mixed-production organic farm that produces a diverse range of organic vegetables and cut flowers for fine dining restaurants, farmers markets, farm gate sales and grocery stores.

Michael has completed his four-week Global Focus Program, travelling to Japan, Belgium, Ireland and the USA (California) between 2-30 August 2022 with eight other Nuffield Scholars. For his eight weeks of individual study, in 2021 Michael spent two weeks in the UK and also significant time in Israel. He visited New Zealand between 23-May and 1-June 2022 as part of individual study, where he met a number of business leaders including Jodi Roebuck of Roebuck farm. He is finalizing plans to complete his studies in the USA, Italy and the Netherlands in the first half of 2023. He will present the findings of his study and present verbally at the Nuffield National Conference in WA in September 2023.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund