Funding drives positive change in agriculture
Published:  03 May, 2016

The Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust and Holly Beckett, a 2015 Nuffield Scholar, have both been unveiled as recipients of Frank Parkinson Agri-leadership fund bursaries. 

The funding is designed to assist positive change within the agriculture sector.

The Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust was awarded the funding to support its new biennial Nuffield Farming Lecture. The trust was set up to provide around 20 individuals a year with the opportunity to research topics of interest in farming, food and the horticulture or rural sectors.

“We’re so pleased to be receiving support from the Frank Parkinson Agri-leadership fund for this new venture,” said Mike Vacher, director of Nuffield Farming.
“These funds are so important to the continual development of our current and future agricultural leaders.”

The inaugural Nuffield Farming Lecture, to be held in 2018, will have a theme of ‘How does the UK farmer deliver to the UK food culture(s) of 2030?’ The Nuffield Farming selection committee will choose an applicant in the coming months to be awarded with a bursary of £15,000 to complete a study encompassing both time in the UK and abroad.

Nuffield Scholar Holly Beckett was also awarded with a bursary for a project which will deliver the introduction of ‘mindfulness’ to farmers throughout the UK.

“Mindfulness has become increasingly popular in the Western world over the past few years,” explained Beckett.

“In 2015, we saw an epidemic of mindfulness being introduced to businesses as a way to increase employee wellbeing and the development of exercises to strengthen the mind.”

Chris Bourchier, chairman of the Frank Parkinson Trust, commented that the trust is delighted to support this project, which will seek to integrate new discoveries in neuroscience with progressive management techniques for the benefit of individuals and businesses in British agriculture.

“Our industry is in transition and the Agri-leadership programme, developed by the Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust, enables such new ideas to be evaluated and adapted to maximise their positive impact,” said Bourchier.

“It’s fantastic that the Frank Parkinson Trust has recognised the potential for introducing mindfulness to agriculture and is supporting such a progressive initiative,” added Beckett.

“Society seems to be accepting more and more that exercise should be encouraged for the mind, as well as for the body, and be seen as the norm for everyday living. I believe that farmers, especially those under increasing stress, will have a great deal to gain from this project.”

Both projects will be funded immediately and commence within the next few weeks.