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Media profile. Michael Lyons. 2014 Scholarship winner

Media profile. Michael Lyons. 2014 Scholarship winner

Michael Lyons, from Charters Towers in Queensland, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, supported by Meat and Livestock Australia. He received the award at the organisationʼs prestigious National Conference dinner last night (Thursday) at Crown Perth. He will study innovative ways of managing natural resources to create highly profitable grazing businesses.

With his wife, Michael manages the family-owned North Queensland property ʻWambianaʼ, which is 23,200 hectares and runs up to 3,500 head of Brahman cattle. The cattle business includes breeding bulls for sale, growing out steers and a cattle-trading enterprise.

The family has also diversified the business by leasing 1,000 hectares to DAFF for long term grazing trials, hosting People to People American Student Ambassadors, providing fun and educational camps for school students, hosting field trips for Australian and International university students, operating a small live-in training facility for graziers/researchers and operating a small supermarket in Charters Towers.

Given the declining terms of trade for beef, Michael would like to study innovative ways of managing natural resources to produce ʻmore with lessʼ. In particular he would like to learn more about the interaction of rotational grazing systems to regenerate bio-diverse pastures.

“Iʼd also like to investigate the selection and proliferation of adapted, fertile cattle to reduce input costs, as well as how to manage complimentary enterprises to optimise the utilisation of natural resources. I hope to visit and learn from producers who are managing innovative, multi-enterprise businesses that work with nature, where one enterprise builds on the others for diverse and highly profitable income streams,” Michael explains.

Michael would like to visit South Africa, the USA and South America to complete his studies.

Meat and Livestock Australia, who provide research, development and marketing services to the Australian beef and sheepmeat industry, recognises the Nuffield program as an important pathway for Australian producers to develop their leadership potential and explore innovative ideas that will deliver long-term benefits to Australia’s rural industries.

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.

Michael is available for interviews to talk about his planned study.  Mobile: 0409 893 041

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

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