MÁIRE McCarthy of Innishannon, a Nuffield Scholarship winner, is currently – as she admits herself – lucky to be travelling around the world investigating farming practices and meeting government agriculture officials across the globe.
‘I am lucky that my employer, SouthWestern, has facilitated me and, not only that, but they have provided me with an iPad which has allowed me to take notes, photos and videos of what I have seen,’ said Máire.
‘I really appreciate this wonderful opportunity and I would highly recommend that anyone who is involved in farming and is interested in seeing farming systems across the world should consider applying for the Nuffield scholarship.’ Currently in Japan, Maire has been keeping notes on her Nuffield trip so far. She writes: ‘Well it all started on May 30th when I set off for Dublin on the air coach. I flew from Dublin to Dubai on the first leg of my trip, a very pleasant flight with lots of films and nice aeroplane food.
‘In Dubai it was a very warm 38 degrees! I flew from Dubai to Sydney and caught an internal flight from there to Canberra.
In Canberra on June 1st, I met up with my fellow farming globetrotters. James, the turkey farmer, gave us a wonderful welcoming lunch and tour of his farm. His wife, Frances, is a great cook.
James produces 140,000 turkeys per annum. He has six turkey sheds and a very efficient production system.
From this point on we are to be together 24 hours a day, seven days a week until July 17th. We are a very diverse group (with a somewhat Aussie bias): Rob is an egg, grain, wool and beef producer from Australia; James is a turkey and beef producer from Australia; Holly, from the United Kingdom runs an open farm and is a grain producer; Bernadette is an avocado and organic chicken producer from Australia, and
Wade, also from Australia, grows roses, raspberries and blueberries.
We had a session of behavioural profiling and established what types of ‘people’ we are. When six people who barely know each other are thrown together for six weeks, having some self-awareness, as well as a basic understanding of each other, is helpful to reduce the risk of the inevitable arguments spiraling out of control on tour!