Announcing the 2023 Nuffield International Scholars

Nuffield International Farming Scholars is pleased to announce its newest Scholars for 2023. Ten farmers and agri-professionals from the USA, Chile, Japan and France, as well as two scholars from new Nuffield countries Poland and Germany, will join 38 other Nuffield International Scholars as part of this unique global network.

Dario Mujica – Santiago, CHILE
Dario Mujica Soil improvement strategies based on local and high-value organic inputs

Dario Mujica, from Santiago in Chile, has been awarded a 2023 Nuffield International Scholarship to study soil improvement strategies based on local and high-value organic inputs, supported by TIAA CREF Global Agriculture.

Dario is a founding partner and head of research and development at Abonos San Francisco, which focuses on the revaluation of organic waste to transform it into compost, soil improvers and fertilizers. Dario’s role includes applied research, creating tests, promoting regenerative agricultural practices, and seeking long-term soil solutions for farmers.

Dario has a Diploma in Statistics for Agriculture from the University of Chile, a Certificate in Irrigation Monitoring at the Catholic University of Chile, and a Diploma in Plant Nutrition from the University of Concepción. He has also spent time in Zambia, Africa, as Executive Director and agricultural project manager for the NGO ‘Africa Dream Foundation’ that promotes the food production and soil improvement. Dario sees a trend in agriculture using more local bio-inputs and would like to focus on this as part of his scholarship.

“There are certain local bio-inputs with the potential to improve productivity and improve soils but not enough information to validate their use and to allow us to move towards a regenerative and sustainable agriculture. I would like to visit Australia which has a national plan for soil health and sustainable innovation, the University of Davis in the USA which is doing important studies in composting and soil biology, and also visit Canada, which has created innovative ways to improve soil quality”.

In his spare time, Dario enjoys playing rugby and trail running.


Easton Kuboushek – Iowa, USA
Easton  Kuboushek Aquaculture and what the USA can learn from the rest of the world in scaling sustainable seafood supply chains

Easton Kuboushek is the recipient of the 2023 USA Iowa-based Scholarship* to study global aquaculture to support the United States in scaling sustainable seafood supply chains.

Kuboushek currently serves as a Senior Account Executive with Amplify Association Management, a subsidiary of Iowa Soybean Association. He leads multiple non-profit trade associations including the Soy Aquaculture Alliance, the National Chimney Sweep Guild, National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers and supports the New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association.

“Aquaculture has incredible potential to meet the world’s growing demand for sustainably sourced protein and address food insecurity,” says Kuboushek. “Farming fish, crustaceans and other aquatic organisms has grown significantly over the past 20 years and is projected to increase an additional 12.8% by 2030 — but the United States still imports more than 90 percent of its seafood.”

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predict that countries in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Thailand will account for 88% of total aquaculture production by 2030. Other success stories, like Ecuador, are experiencing exponential growth. The USA is not really a factor, and by visiting these countries Kuboushek hopes to find ways where the USA can improve its position.

“Through the Nuffield program, my independent study will explore the success stories, best practices, technology, and regulations that have fostered tremendous growth in aquaculture production around the world. With first-hand experience, I plan to apply this knowledge to help expand US aquaculture production through the Soy Aquaculture Alliance and contribute to a fresh, sustainable seafood supply chain.”

Kuboushek’s passion for agriculture is rooted on the family farm in Northeast Iowa. As an agriculture professional, he contributes his time and talent to supporting farmers by growing non-profit trade and commodity associations. Kuboushek holds a BA from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and a Master of Public Administration from Drake University.

*Investor sponsors include the Iowa Farm Bureau Association, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Pork Producers Association and The People's Company*


Jessica Gray – Virginia, USA
Jessica  Gray Evaluating the potential for a sheep based economy

Jessica Gray from Virginia is in receipt of the 2023 USA MidAtlantic Region Scholarship*, to evaluate the potential for a sheep-based economy in the USA.

Jessica operates Kitchen Sink Farm along with her husband and four children. They have a sheep flock rotationally grazed on solar fields as well as a variety of other livestock and a pick your own pumpkin patch during the fall season.

The State of Virginia is an area with very few sheep farmers, and over half of all lamb consumed is imported into the USA from other countries. Virginia has committed to 40,000+ acres of solar panels and sheep are an important part of managing the vegetation in these areas, yet sheep numbers remain very low. Jessica believes that sheep farming may provide some answers to the question of the aging demographic of farmers in the USA and the difficulty of young people entering the agricultural industry due to financial constraints.

“One cow can cost between USD $200 - $5000 but the average cost of a sheep is $350. Sheep are an important part of an agribusiness because they are cheaper to invest in early on and have less impact on the environment, so it is cheaper to get involved in, there is money to be made in both the grazing markets and the meat markets, we just need supporting research to back the movement.”

Jessica intends to visit countries where sheep farming is well established such as Australia, New Zealand, Italy, and the United Kingdom. She hopes to study how sheep farming can thrive in a warming and drying climate, as well as vegetative structure, soil health, carbon sequestration, lamb market development and incentive programs in countries outside the USA.

* Investor sponsors include MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Horizon Farm Credit, Mountaire Farms, the Delaware Department of Agriculture, and Kee's Creek Farm*


Laura Kilian – North Carolina, USA
Laura  Kilian Components of Agriculture Policy: Models for Growth and Strategies for Implementation

Laura Kilian is the recipient of a 2023 USA North Carolina-based Scholarship*, which she intends to use to study how agriculture issues are communicated and linked with policy makers around the world.

Laura is the Associate State Legislative Director of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation. Her duties include advocating for NC farmers at the state legislature and lobbying for policy initiatives passed by the Farm Bureau members at the grassroots level.

“There are a plethora of questions surrounding agricultural policy, including how it is formed, where the starting point is, and strategies for implementation which differ worldwide, and the problem to address is the measurement of successful agriculture policy. Like our food supply chain, policy also has a supply chain. The exploration of this within the agriculture arena would assist each level of the agricultural policy supply chain – from the grassroots to the publicly elected officials who govern regulations.”

Laura says agriculture is North Carolina’s number one industry, and it is critical to continue to develop, maintain and protect the industry- and policy makers play a big role in this. She will visit several states such as Iowa, Washington, California, Texas, and Florida to make comparisons domestically. Internationally, she will visit Canada which enjoys geographic similarity with the USA but with less of a free market approach. She would also like to visit the EU to see how their sustainability-based agriculture policy plays out against production-focussed policy. Finally, India and Moldova will provide a completely alternative perspective in how their agriculture issues are communicated.

In her spare time, Laura serves as a volunteer with her local church, has served on the NC Museum of History Young Associates Committee and has been a Refugee Hope Partner volunteer. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her German Shepherd dog, Tara.

* Investor sponsors include Ag Carolina Farm Credit, North Carolina Sweet Potato Association, North Carolina State University College of Agricultural Sciences, Mrs. Dale Boone, and Griffin Farms*


Marcin Markowicz – Opolskie, POLAND
Marcin Markowicz Regenerative farming practices and their impact on soil health

Marcin Markowicz is an inaugural Nuffield Scholar from Poland and receives a 2023 scholarship to study regenerative farming practices and their impact on soil health, supported by a Top Farms Group.

Marcin has a Ph.D of Agricultural Science from Wroclaw University of Environmental Studies as well as a graduate of the Spearhead Academy Management Development Program and is responsible for cereals, rape and soya in the combinable crops department of Top Farms Głubczyce Company. The business is based in Opolskie Province and has one of the best cropping lands in Poland, producing 4,400 ha of cereals, 1,600 ha of canola, 1,100 ha of potatoes, 1,600 ha of sugar beet, 1,000 ha of maize, 600 ha of soya and 200 ha of other crops. It also has a milk production unit with 1,500 cows. The company employs 200 people and cooperates with many companies in the agricultural sector.

Marcin says agriculture has responsibility not just to ensure food security, but also longer-term environmental protection, and heathy soils are a critical element of this.

“Healthy and fertile soil is essential to produce highly nutritious food, but soil degradation and humus depletion occur in most areas in Poland, and it is necessary to change the approach to cultivation and care of our soil. For my scholarship, I would like to focus on soil health, find new practices to increase the content of humus and soil fertility and mitigate the effects of soil degradation in intensive tillage species that affect the soil structure. My aim is to identify simplified soil cultivation systems, understand the diversity of crop rotation and find ways to reduce fertilization in regions such as the USA and Western Europe”.

Marcin has been a member of the program board of the Terra Nostra - Agricultural Development Foundation since September 2019 and also has a Badge of Honour for merits in agriculture. In his spare time, Marcin enjoys fishing, cycling and traveling.


Meinke Ostermann – Borstel, GERMANY
Meinke Ostermann How do we set up farming of the future, food from the field?

Meinke Ostermann is an inaugural Scholar from Germany and receives a 2023 scholarship to study farming in the future, supported by a Coalition of German Scholarship Investors.

Meinke is a full-time sales manager at Düvelsdorf Handelsgesellschaft mbH, based in Ottersberg (Lower Saxony). Prior to this role, he was a consultant for digitalization in arable farming and regenerative energies at the Chamber of Agriculture Lower Saxony. The Düvelsdorf Handelsgesellschaft business builds agricultural machinery for grassland maintenance and front loader attachments. The business has had production in Ukraine since 2012 with 100 employees. Meinke is responsible for worldwide sales and has the responsibility of 12 employees. In addition to his current career role, he is also a farmer and trained agricultural machinery mechanic.

His scholarship study topic primary question is: How do we set up farming of the future, food from the field? This covers a combination of other questions including:

• How is mechanical tillage handled worldwide and why?

• Is farming without chemicals really sustainable?

• What role will robots play in future agriculture worldwide?

Meinke will travel to Australia to study no-till systems, Egypt and Israel, to visit large German companies doing research, the USA to research different robotics solutions and Netherlands and Denmark to study farming systems with high legal regulations. Meinke would also like to visit Africa to focus on the topic of nutrition.

In his spare time, Meinke volunteers with the fire department, AgrarScout and young farmers. He also enjoys hunting and has a sideline small business in project management and consulting. He also enjoys helping in his parental agricultural business.


Patrick Wade – Texas, USA
Patrick Wade The role of trade policy in achieving key sustainability outcomes in agriculture

Patrick Wade is the recipient of a 2023 Nuffield Scholarship generously supported by Bayer and will study the role of trade policy in achieving key sustainability outcomes in agriculture.

Patrick is currently serving as the Policy Director of Texas Grain Sorghum Producers which is a not-for-profit trade association with over 3,000 producer members. His role is to coordinate all state, federal and international legislative and regulatory strategies for the association and advocate for issues across all forms of media. He is also a Cleared Advisor on the USDA FAS Technical Advisory Committee for grains, feed, oilseeds and planting seeds for ongoing free trade agreement negotiations as well as emerging policy issues. He will explore the role that agricultural trade policies play in achieving sustainability and climate-change-related outcomes.

“The USDA estimates that world agricultural trade doubled from 1995 to 2014, and I have seen how critical trade is to the agricultural economy. The best-designed trade policies and rules-based trading systems can leverage massive volumes of economic activity to generate socially advantageous externalities and I believe that the binding policy language, rules and practices that will help achieve critical sustainability have not yet been developed, let alone understood by farmers and ranchers. By researching all segments of the supply chain and the work of intergovernmental organizations, I intend to bring greater clarity to, and ultimately guide better adoption of trade policies.”

During his scholarship, Patrick will focus on the European Union which has been a leader in crafting policies for sustainability outcomes in agriculture. In addition, he will visit Asia, one of the fastest growing regions in the world and where agriculture is key to many ASEAN economies.


Rikiya Ueno – Hokkaido, JAPAN
Rikiya Ueno Potential of Japanese wine and sustainable development in its wine region

Rikiya Ueno is the fourth Nuffield Scholar to be awarded a scholarship from Japan and receives the 2023 award to study the potential and sustainable development of Japanese wine, supported by Norinchukin Bank.

Rikiya is involved in the 25-ha family farm in Hokkaido, producing wheat, sugar beet, seed potatoes, rice, cabbages, pumpkin, and asparagus in an annual rotation. This diversified, profitable business sells its products through local cooperative JA.

The Japanese wine region in Hokkaido is expanding and Rikiya sees great potential in this industry through investment by both public and private institutions.

“I would like to be part of the expansion of the wine industry in Japan and study how a newcomer can access and thrive in the sector. Globally, I want to understand how policy and law contributes to the wine industry, how climate change is affecting production, and explore a range of business models that are utilising not only production technology but also tourism”.

Rikiya will visit old world wine regions in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, as well as new world wine regions in the USA, South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, and China and believes comparing production practices in both old and new wine regions will provide the greatest knowledge and ideas.

Rikiya has Bachelor of Sciences with Honours in Agriculture and Business Management from Writtle College in the UK, and also a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Award in Wine. He is also hoping to complete a master’s degree in Viticulture, Enology and Wine Business from Geisenheim University in Germany in the next 18-months. Rikiya attended the Global Youth Ag Summit in Belgium in 2017 as the Japanese representative and is also in charge of agricultural and food education projects for elementary schools at Sorachi Minami Young Farmers.


Robin Euvrard – Nantes, FRANCE
Robin Euvrard Regenerative viticulture

Robin Euvrard from Nantes in France, is awarded a 2023 Nuffield International scholarship to study regenerative viticulture, supported by PSP Investments and a Coalition of French Scholarship Investors.

Robin obtained a diploma in agricultural engineering at Agrocampus Ouest-Rennes in 2010 and from 2011-2016, was an advisor in organic field crops with the GABNOR (Organic Farmers Group of Nord Pas-de-Calais). He provided technical, economic, and marketing support to farmers wishing to switch to organic production. He also took part experimentation projects in partnership with other players including the Fédération Nationale d'Agriculture Biologique (FNAB).

Following a career at several wine estates, building skills in both the vineyard and cellar, Robin created his own wine estate in January 2020 with 5-hectares of vines. He also grows and cultivates 12-hectares of cereals. In addition, Robin is a technical trainer to other wine growers, focusing on vine physiology, soil biology and regenerative agriculture. Robin says that winegrowers face intense climatic events which can weaken the technical and economic balance of their businesses and increase diseases such as mildew and phylloxera, leading to higher consumption of phytosanitary products. He would like to see better plant health and soil through regenerative viticulture principles for a more resilient industry.

“Agricultural climatic challenges are common globally and the solutions are all similar, which are to combine soil cover and management of the soil-plant biological balance. These practices are still underdeveloped in France and a Nuffield Scholarship is an opportunity for me to go further and learn from farmers who have been involved in this process for a long time. My work as a trainer will also enable me to promote these techniques to other farmers across France”.

Robin hopes to travel to both the USA and Australia as part of his research.


Stephanie Bolton – California, USA
Stephanie  Bolton Establishment of an international sustainable viticulture learning network, headquartered in CA

Stephanie Bolton receives a 2023 scholarship to study global collaboration opportunities in viticulture and is supported by PSP Investments and a collaboration of farm organisations and individuals from California*.

Leading Grower Research, Education and Communications for the Lodi Winegrape Commission in California, Stephanie will explore how wine growers and scientists internationally can best be connected around sustainable viticulture research. The Lodi Winegrape Commission is an organization representing 750 growers farming around 100,000 acres of winegrapes. Stephanie believes that agriculture worldwide is more dynamic and challenging than ever. With a changing climate, globalization and invasive pests and diseases spreading rapidly, it is vital that farmers everywhere work together to find solutions.

Stephanie understands the many challenges that are particular to viticulture, and these are relevant across the globe, including insect pests, viruses, rootstocks and clean plant material. She is hopeful of creating a collaborative, international network which would build energy and resiliency into her local agricultural community and beyond.

“Grower involvement in research is crucial to have meaningful impact. In Lodi, we’ve had success building teams of dedicated growers, scientists, extension, and industry personnel to dive deeply into a specific farming challenge, and our teams find solutions at a fast speed because those involved are financially invested in discovering a better way of farming. My Nuffield project would build and grow the culture of learning that exists in the Lodi winegrowing community, taking it to an international scale.”

Stephanie hopes to establish an international viticulture research network focused on globally relevant topics. To achieve this, she hopes to visit South Africa, Australia, and Europe, making connections with growers and organisations to collaborate on issues such as pests and diseases, drought tolerance and mechanization.

* Investor sponsors include the California Cotton Alliance, Terra Nova Ranch, California Fresh Fruit Growers Association, Agrian, Stevens Farms, and Mechanical Design LLC.


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