Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust Ireland has selected 6 new scholars for the 2019 Nuffield Scholarships. The objective of the Irish Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust is to identify future leaders of Irish Agriculture and facilitate their ambition to bring about meaningful change for the benefit of their community.

“We received 30 applications of a very high standard for these scholarships. Following a 2 stage interview process, the selection panel chose these 6 candidates to receive this award. I look forward working with our new scholars as they engage in the Nuffield Leadership development programme, work on their study topic and produce their report” said Geoff Dooley, Chairman of Nuffield Ireland.

The new scholars for 2019 are:
Alison Holmes, Camross, Co Laois. Alison is farming in partnership on the family dairy farm, and is also part time physiotherapy programme clinical tutor at University of Limerick. She is actively involved in her local IFA and Macra na Feirme branches and in the local Ladies rugby and hockey teams.

Ailish Moriarty, Annascaul, Co Kerry. Ailish is Milk Quality Manager with Kerry Agribusiness. She has a background in food production in Kerry Ingredients and other businesses, and was also self-employed as a food business adviser. She and her husband run a dairy farm and she has completed her MBA.

Pat O’Meara, Nenagh Co Tipperary. Pat is a dairy farmer and Agricultural Adviser with AIB Bank. He took over the family beef/sheep, tillage farm a number of years ago, and converted to dairying, expanding it with long term leases. He is also Agri team leader for AIB covering the middle third of the country.

Karina Pierce, Roundwood, Co Wicklow. Karina is Associate Professor of Dairy Production at UCD. She is degree programme co-ordinator of two collaborative programmes, and she also leads a progressive research programme and team at UCD Lyons farm. She has held a number of leadership roles including President of the ASA and membership of the Teagasc Authority.

Ciara O’Halloran, Burrin, Co Clare. Ciara is Managing Director of the Redbank Food Co and has re-established it from 100% exporting live oysters to branding oysters on the domestic and export markets, and more recently introduced the area of food tourism. Ciara is actively involved in local organisations dealing with environmental education, food trails, and improving the economy, environment and heritage around Galway Bay.

Robbie Byrne, Ardee, Co Louth. Robbie’s farm business has tillage, sheep, and free-range rare breed pigs. He also has an agricultural consultancy business providing specialised soils and nutrition advice to farmers, aimed at improving the yield and nutritional quality of their produce.

The new scholars will be introduced, and will give an outline of their study topic, at the Nuffield Ireland Annual Conference in the Castleknock Hotel on Friday 16th November 2018 which can be booked at this link.

Nuffield Ireland awards scholarships with the support of its sponsors, namely, FBD Trust, IFA, the Irish Farmers’ Journal, the Golden Jubilee Trust, Meat Industry Ireland, Aurivo Co-op Glanbia, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Dairymaster, LIC, MSD Animal Health and Dairygold.

Mr Dooley congratulated the new scholars on their awards. He said “the scholars will receive a travel bursary of €14,000. They will initially receive briefings and skills development over the coming months, before further training with fellow-Nuffield Scholars from around the world at a week-long Contemporary Scholars Conference which will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, USA in March 2019.

After this initial stage, they will undertake 6 weeks travel on one of the 6 Global Focus Programme (GFP) itineraries to about 6 countries (such as China, US, Brazil, Africa, Eastern Europe, Japan, India, Philippines and others). They will travel in groups of about 8 scholars from different countries, meet farmers, companies and policymakers to get an understanding of the issues, trends and insights into global agriculture, and to see farming in a wide range of sizes, regulatory and climatic conditions. Later, they will travel individually to research their topic of choice. They will be expected to prepare a comprehensive 30 – 35 page report, to be presented to the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust, as well as various other Irish and international agricultural forums,” Mr Dooley said. “I am delighted to welcome these new scholars to Nuffield Ireland, and look forward to seeing them develop their full potential, and play an important role for Irish Agriculture, their local community and for Nuffield in the years ahead. This brings to 94 the total number of scholars
who have been awarded Irish Nuffield scholarships since 1996” he said.

Contacts for Press:

Amii McKeever, Chair, Communications Sub Committee 086-8574420

John Tyrrell, Executive Secretary 087-2563501