Shinya Okazaki, from the Ehime region of Japan, receives a 2022 Nuffield International Scholarship supported by Norinchukin Bank. Shinya becomes the third scholar to be awarded a scholarship from Japan, having learned about Nuffield whilst attending a 'next generation agricultural summit' in 2019.
Shinya has a Bachelor of Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Hakodate College, and a Master of Agriculture from Ehime University.
Established in 1990 by Shinya's father, his ranch business is called YUBOKU with 600 beef cattle and 50 pigs, directly selling 'Hanaga Beef'. The business also includes a food manufacturing facility, three retail stores and two restaurants and is managed by 40 staff. Sales were 400 million yen in 2020. Shinya joined YUBOKU in 2013 and was elevated to President of the business in 2016, after achieving double sales growth, which has continued annually. He is delighted to become a 2022 Nuffield Scholar.
"I spent two months visiting farmers in USA and the EU in 2013 and those experiences were very important and valuable. Then I learned about Nuffield and the great opportunities to exchange opinions widely and deeply with farmers around the world. Though this scholarship I would like to develop greater knowledge, build a global network and help revitalise the Japanese agricultural industry".
Shinya's study topic focuses on the relationship between agriculture and the environment.
"In 2018, our farm suffered extreme weather events with floods and landslides and that heightened my interest in more sustainable livestock farming models. The Japanese Government has a focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has launched the 'Green Food System' which enhances recycling, eco-feed, sustainable energy use, improved animal welfare and a shift towards organic farming, all of which I would like to focus on as part of my research".
He will visit New Zealand, which is advanced in sustainable grazing techniques and organic farming, as well as the USA and Australia to focus on their beef supply chains.
Shinya is Vice Chair of the Ehime Young Agricultural Management Council, and Officer of Iyo Beef Youth Association. He won a Kintone Award in 2019, and the '6th Industrialization Encouragement Award' sponsored by MAFF in January 2020. He also won a Product Award at Ehime Economic Report in July 2020, for his breeding of "F1 CROSS", a rare breed in Japan.