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Media release. Reece Curwen. 2015 Scholarship winner

Media release. Reece Curwen. 2015 Scholarship winner

Reece Curwen, from South Stirling in Western Australia, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Reece will investigate the dynamics between broadacre farming and the management systems used to maximise productivity.

As cropping manager of his family’s 9500-hectare broadacre mixed farming property, Reece is responsible for a 6500-hectare cropping program, including canola, barley and wheat. In addition, the enterprise includes 10-thousand Merino ewes.

Reece will use his scholarship to investigate how good management of broadacre farming enterprises can ensure productivity and profitability.

“Scale naturally has an influence but the ability to manage that scale is what I am focussed on investigating – with demands of staff, plant and finance, managing large properties is challenging.

The business continues to be challenged to ensure profitability, so I am always trying to find the next boost to productivity to combat the ongoing cost-price squeeze,” he explains.

Reece hopes that exposure to similar enterprises around the world will open doors and opportunities to the next boost in productivity.

“I’d like to visit South America to look at how they manage large farms, specifically to see how labour is managed effectively.

In addition I’d like to tour some large operations in Central America, and then see some farming systems in Europe with a similar climate to our own,” Reece says.

GRDC Program Manager Capacity Building, Kathleen Allan believes that the Nuffield Scholarships are an integral part of the GRDC investment into capacity building for the grains industry.

“Nuffield Scholarships support young, innovative growers to become the future leaders of our industry – GRDC are pleased to sponsor four Grains Nuffield scholarships this year and congratulate the recipients,” says Ms Allan.

Nuffield Australia is an organisation which provides an opportunity to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. The next groups will be travelling through New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Mexico, the UK, South Africa, Kenya and Europe in March-April 2015.

Reece is available for interviews to talk about his planned study.  Mobile: 0409 203 633

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