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Minh Hieu Ly. 2010 Nuffield Australia Scholar

The Nuffield Farming Scholarship was suggested to me by an industry leader and at first I was hesitant due to the program commitments.  However, after much consideration involving family, friends and other Nuffield Scholars, I decided to apply. Looking back, I am very grateful that I did.

I am a high-tech hydroponic tomato grower in the Northern Adelaide Plains and I have always known that this area was ready for a new type of farming to bring production processes into the 21st century and beyond. Yet growers were not ready to take the plunge and even I was hesitant to invest in the capital needed to grow hydroponically.

Following my Nuffield experience, I now understand that greenhouse farming needs more than just a production shift from soil to soil-less. It’s a focus on business and how we as farmers stay profitable as input costs increase while prices remain volatile.  When travelling through countries like Holland, France, Japan and the UK, I envisaged the type of business I wanted and by talking with industry experts, I am now able to plan how it will be achieved. My future outlook is to expand into high-tech greenhouses producing vegetables that will compete with the top growers in Australia.

No matter what sector of agriculture you are in, I highly recommend applying for a Nuffield Scholarship as it will almost certainly change your life and the way you approach farming.

And how many other farmers do you know who get the chance to stand on a missile in the Ukraine, smell a cattle feedlot in Oklahoma and park under the Eiffel Tower?

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