Returning Nuffield scholars have gained a unique insight into global agriculture, according to the Chairman of Nuffield Ireland Farming Scholarships, Geoff Dooley.

Dooley opened proceedings at the annual Nuffield Ireland Conference in the Castleknock hotel, Dublin, this morning (Friday, October 6).

Now in its eighth year, this event attracts a large audience from right across the agricultural industry to hear from returning Nuffield Ireland scholars and other guest speakers.

The keynote address this year will be given by the CEO of Origin Enterprises plc, Tom O’Mahony. Origin is an international agri-services group providing agronomy advice, inputs and services to arable, grassland and horticultural farm enterprises.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Dooley said: “It is exciting to receive the presentations from the returning scholars, who have completed their travels and studies over the past two years.

All of these scholars have gained a unique insight into global agriculture.

“Not only have they learned about farming and food production, policy and trade across the globe, in developed and developing countries, but they have also learned about themselves, and grown in ability and confidence in the process.”

Dooley explained that the Nuffield scholarship programme has made a real difference in Ireland since its inception. A total of 88 scholars have been awarded a scholarship by Nuffield Ireland since 1996, he added.

The CEO of Nuffield International, Jim Geltch, also attended today’s conference. His drive and vision is providing Nuffield International with “the impetus to grow and develop as an organisation of influence”, Dooley said.

A total of six returning Nuffield scholars from 2016 – as well as one scholar from 2015 – are set to give presentations on their studies and findings at this morning’s event.

Presentations will vary from topics such as ‘Future Trends in Dairy Genetics’, ‘Risky Business: Managing Dairy Volatility’, and ‘Reducing Lameness in Dairy Cows’ – among others.

During the conference a joint presentation will be given by the 2017 Nuffield scholars about their Global Focus Programme. The new 2018 Nuffield scholars will also be introduced at the event.