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Newsletter: SA Report

By Lachie Seears, 2013 Scholar and Chair

December 2018

As 2018 draws to a close I am sure many people will want to put this year behind them and look forward to a better year in 2019.  This year has broken many records and all for the wrong reasons with well below average rainfall in many of the regions across the state.  With always being a glass half full outlook the poor season has seen commodity prices for many industries at all-time highs.  This will hopefully go some way to help compensate for lower yields and rising production costs.

Sadly, earlier this year saw the passing of 2004 Scholar Charlie Hilton after a long battle with illness.  Charlie was a great supporter of Nuffield and was a regular attending Nuffield events, he was a pioneer of the lucerne seed industry and instrumental in setting up Lucerne Australia. His funeral was held in Keith in the states South-East was very well attended by scholars who came to help celebrate the life of Charlie.

Nuffield SA has had a very successful year with four new scholars being awarded in Melbourne this year, this brings the SA alumni to 75 now and it is great to see the Nuffield family continue to grow.

The four successful new 2019 Scholars are:

  • Ellen Litchfield from Marree in the states north. She plans to study “the impact of climate change on the red meat production in arid and semi-arid rangelands”.
  • Richard Leask farms in McLaren Vale and plans to study “best practise regenerative farming systems across the wine sector”.
  • Tom Green is general manager of Thomas Foods Iranda beef feedlot, he plans to study “building consumer confidence in intensive agricultural systems through implementing best practise in animal welfare”.
  • Andrew Sargent who manages his families cropping farm in Crystal Brook.  He plans to study “how farm sensors and the internet of things can improve efficiency and profitability of cropping and mixed farming enterprises”.

I would like to congratulate all of them on being awarded a scholarship and look forward to following their travels in 2019. At the National Conference in Melbourne, we also also saw the three 2017 Scholars present their findings at the 2018 National Conference, this is always a great time to see the fruits of their labour and the journey that they have been on.  Congratulations to Toby Bekkers, Jamie Heinrich and Jonas Woolford on completing your presentations and I very much look forward to reading your reports.

At the national AGM in Melbourne this year we saw Andrew Johnson (2005 Sch) set down from the National board and it was great to see fellow SA scholar Damien Smart (2007 Sch) elected to replace Andrew on the national board.  I would like to thanks Andrew for everything he has done while on the board and particularly during his term as Chairman.  I would also like to wish Damien Smart the very best during his term on the national board.

AGM and Tour – March 2018

Earlier this year we held our AGM and Tour in the Eyre Peninsula, this was an excellent weekend and well attended.  The weekend program was a lot of fun and a good time was had by all.  Special thanks to Peter Treloar (2002 Sch) and Mark Modra (2005 Sch) for putting together such a great program.  Some of the highlights of the weekend were having Hagen Stehr as our guest speaker for the dinner on Saturday evening, seeing a motorised couch driving around and being taken out on 2011 scholar Clint Scharfe’s boat on the Sunday morning for breakfast and a tour of Boston Bay.

L-R: 2008 Scholar Lester Marshall, 1999 Scholar Brett Roberts, 2016 Scholar Dennis Holder and 2008 Scholar Ben Ranford sampling the local produce!

We are in the early stages of organising next year’s AGM and tour to be held in Adelaide, with it being more central we hope that as many of you will be able to attend and look forward to catching up with as many as possible.

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