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Media profile. Hannah Marriott. 2014 Scholarship winner

Media profile. Hannah Marriott. 2014 Scholarship winner

Hannah Marriott, from Kalkallo in Victoria, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, supported by the William Buckland Foundation. She received the award at the organisationʼs prestigious National Conference dinner last night (Thursday) at Crown Perth.

Hannah will research the ability of Electronic Identification Devices (EID) to deliver production benefits to sheep farmers, with traceability as a bonus.

Hannah is farm manager of a family-owned 1080-hectare prime lamb property, one of three farms the family operates. The fully integrated business means sheep move from one farm to the next, involving merino, first cross and second cross lamb production. She joins 4500 first cross ewes to Dorset rams, with lambs grown for the domestic and export markets.

While traceability may be the underlying benefit for using EID in sheep, Hannah believes there needs to be significant production benefits that are user-friendly to ensure adoption by industry.

If no production benefits are recognised, Hannah says the introduction of EID tags will be a cost to farming businesses rather than an opportunity.

“I think it is important to understand how EID technology could deliver production benefits to the farmer by helping them make the key decisions. For example, I believe EIDʼs could help manage seasonal risk by ensuring excess sheep are sold on poor performance rather than age, and will also ensure the increasing cost of inputs are used most efficiently. The technology can help farmers make informed decisions, but it needs to be practical and relevant,” she explains.

Hannah plans to visit New Zealand, the Middle East, America, Europe and Asia to complete her studies.

The William Buckland Foundation was established in 1964 and strives to support activities, organisations and projects which create lasting benefit for the Victorian community.

The William Buckland Foundation Chairman Mr Sandy Clark said, “Reflecting the interest and wishes of the founder William Lionel Buckland, one area of importance to the Foundation is the support of agriculture and sustainable land use.

The Trustees of The William Buckland Foundation believe that supporting the Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship is an excellent means of building the capacity of the Victorian agricultural sector,” he concluded.

Nuffield Australia is an organisation providing opportunities to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. In March 2014 we will have one group travelling through Canada, United States (California and Washington DC), Mexico, Europe, Brazil and New Zealand, while a second group will tour South Africa, Kenya, Eastern Europe, Europe and USA.

Hannah is available for interviews to talk about her planned study.  Mobile: 0417 347 689

A high-resolution photo of Hannah is available for download online in the 2014 Nuffield Scholar gallery

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