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Newsletter: Tas State Report

By Michael Chilvers, 2012 Scholar and Chair

November 2016

Following what has been in some areas in Tasmania the wettest winter on record, spring has finally arrived. It has certainly been a period many will be happy to put behind them, with massive flooding causing widespread infrastructure damage, erosion and the loss of livestock, including large numbers of dairy cows.

Pasture growth is picking up with some warmer weather and relief from waterlogging, and the fodder conservation season has commenced. There is a sense that the dairy industry has reached the bottom of the curve and improved returns are now anticipated in the medium-term.

Livestock prices are very high and combined with high lambing percentages and abundant feed, breeders are holding onto stock, reluctant to supply store stock for finishing operators. Margins may be slim for businesses relying on fattening lambs in particular.

The wet winter and early spring has created problems for vegetable producers, delaying ground preparation and especially the planting of peas and potatoes.

During May, we Nuffield Scholars and families were fortunate to be able to tour the Skrettings fish feed mill at Cambridge in Southern Tasmania. It was fascinating to get an insight into this rapidly growing business and the progress being made to reduce the quantity of fishmeal and oil used in aquaculture.

Big thanks must go to Matt Pooley (2013 Sch) who kindly provided the ideal venue for lunch, as well as Armstrong’s Insurance for generously supplying a delicious spread. Also, Abby McKibben (2015 Sch) who, in absentia, assisted with some superb salmon!

Whilst in the south of the state, we also visited one of our investors, Blundstone who continue to support our Scholars in partnership with the Robert Gatenby Memorial Trust, Ruralco and Tas Alkaloids.

These events play a vital role in maintaining engagement with investors and the alumni as well as an opportunity to meet potential applicants. Further, it is an excellent way of maintaining the profile and awareness of Nuffield in the wider community.

It was satisfying to see the work and encouragement of our alumni culminating in such a strong level of enquiry in June. The high quality of candidates resulted in three new Nuffield scholars in Tasmania and we look forward to building on the momentum.

Kathy Henry becomes a Paul Harris Fellow

We congratulate Kathy Henry, partner of 1991 Scholar Robert Henry, who has been awarded a Paul Harris Fellow.

The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of US$1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.


It was established in 1957 to show appreciation for and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only program, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study, the precursor to Ambassadorial Scholarships.

Many other notable figures have been named as Paul Harris Fellows, including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and Jonas Salk.

Congratulations Kathy!

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