Six Nuffield Canada scholars for 2024 announced

Nuffield Canada has announced the six individuals that will receive scholarships to fund self-directed agricultural research, including international travel, over the next two years.

“This unique scholarship opportunity develops new influencers who will reshape our Canadian agricultural sector with innovation, global perspectives and leadership,” explains Blake Vince, chair of Nuffield Canada and 2013 Nuffield scholar. “Nuffield Canada is part of a global network of Nuffield alumni which supports fellow scholars in their travel studies necessary to see agriculture from a global perspective.”

Here are the six scholarship recipients for 2024, and the topic they will be researching:

  • Sally Bernard is co-owner of Barnyard Organics in Freetown, PEI, an organic grains and livestock farm as well as a feed mill serving the Maritime region. Sally’s topic will explore the incorporation of grazing within cropping rotations, particularly under organic or regenerative farming systems. Sally’s sponsor is the PEI Department of Agriculture.
  • Cheryl Haskett is a corporate facilitator, speaker and the founder of Udderly Ridiculous – an award-winning goat milk ice cream company and Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life a multi award-winning agri-tourism destination located in Bright, ON. Cheryl’s topic will examine the growth and impacts of agri-tourism on primary agriculture, tourism, and the community. The project will aim to offer a framework for agri-tourism in Canada to offer a consistent definition, criteria, and standards of practice. Cheryl’s sponsor is Nuffield Canada.
  • Lauren Benoit, from London, ON, is a technical solutions agronomist with Bayer CropScience. She leads the research and knowledge transfer strategy for all Dekalb seed and Bayer crop protection products in the territory. She has a Masters degree in Plant Agriculture from the University of Guelph. Outside of work she is an active member of the Grain Farmers of Ontario Research and Innovation committee. Lauren’s topic of study will focus on understanding research collaborations between public, private and industry groups to leverage research dollars and knowledge sharing more effectively across organizations. Lauren’s sponsor is Grain Farmers of Ontario.
  • Matt McIntosh is a freelance journalist, communications professional, and grain farmer based near Wheatley, ON. Operating under his brand, The Rural PhilosoFer, Matt maintains particular focus on agriculture, science, environment, social, and other issues. He is investigating programs, initiatives, and other efforts to help farmers (as well as landowners more generally) re-establish or conserve ecologically and culturally significant spaces – without harming farm viability. Matt is sponsored by Nuffield Canada.
  • Renny Grilz is the co-owner of Blazing Star Wildflower Seed Company in Aberdeen, Sask., and the Resource Management Officer for Meewasin Valley Authority at Saskatoon. Renny was presented the Distinguished Agrologist designation from the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists in 2023. Renny’s project will examine how native seed industry networks can meet native seed supply requirements for global biodiversity restoration objectives. The second part of his project will look at the potential development of a native plant seedbank for the Prairies.  Renny’s sponsor is the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
  • Tatum Claypool is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan and a Senior Relationship Manager on the FCC Indigenous Financing Team and resides in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Prior to FCC, Tatum owned a small, fine dining restaurant for 12 years on the West Coast of British Columbia and is a certified Sommelier. Her topic of study is the Resurgence of Indigenous People in Agriculture. Tatum’s sponsor is Farm Credit Canada.

Each recipient is required to do a minimum of 10 weeks of travel within 24 months to examine and research an issue relevant to agriculture. They must then submit a written report and present a summary to the Nuffield board.

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