For Lakeland banana grower Paul Inderbitzin winning a Nuffield Scholarship was life-changing.
The current Australian Banana Growers’ Council director used the scholarship, supported by Horticulture Innovation Australia and the Banana Levy, to study fruit quality, biosecurity and waste management in the banana industry.
Scholarships are provided with support of industry bodies, to develop and promote all aspects of Australian agricultural production, distribution and management.
Nuffield Australia awards scholarships to increase practical farming knowledge and management skills and techniques generally. Scholars study farming practices overseas. Applications for scholarships for study and travel in 2021, valued at $30,000, close 14 June, 2020.
Paul, who manages the family farming operation, Kureen Farming, Lakeland, northwest of Cairns, has nothing but praise for the Nuffield experience – on a farming and personal level. “It opens your eyes to global agriculture,” Paul said.
“We tend to get stuck on our own little farm, in our own industry where we think we know every square inch of everything. Then you get taken away from it.”
Paul said the scholarship taught him to change his approach to farming. “The Nuffield experience taught me you have to “think global and act local”,” he explained.
“I learnt perception is reality with social media.”
Paul also grew as a person, from having to trust his staff to run the business in his absence to learning how to manage people.
“Aside from seeing a whole new world of agriculture, my personal growth was phenomenal,” Paul said. “I learnt how to manage people – we manage a lot of people in the horticulture game, so that’s a very valuable tool.”
One of the biggest lessons Nuffield taught Paul was to look at the farm as a business.
“Nuffield taught me that we need to keep the consumer first and foremost in what we do and really sell the “why” our farming business operates, why we want to grow really good products and feed people the best quality food we can.”
While the Nuffield experience is intensive – scholars spend six weeks overseas studying cutting-edge farming practices around the world – Paul said the benefits were far-reaching.
More information about Nuffield Scholarship is available at www.nuffield.com.au