Last night I arrived home as an emotional mess of a man. I’d just spent the best part of two weeks with my contemporary Nuffield Scholars drawn from 11 countries around the globe (if you’ve never heard of Nuffield, check out their UK website). When former scholars tell you of the life changing nature of a scholarship, it’s hard to conceive the real effect it has on you as a person. Think of a film that a friend raved about and had amazing reviews in the press; it rarely lives up to the expectation on viewing, right? Nuffield isn’t like that, it blows your effing socks off.
I won’t bore you with the minutiae of my trip, but look forward to some intense blog posting this coming year as I start on my travels across the globe to research my topic of research: Native Pig Breeds and Value added Products. If you’re not into pigs and pork, don’t worry, the study will be far-reaching as I look at the wider supplychain, dip my toe in other farming disciplines and take a general view on the culture of Agriculture, food production and our consumption of food as consumers.
As a brief overview of the last week, we were locked in a conference room with some of the best speakers in World Agriculture. We were honed as people, given tools to better understand our current world and the challenges that we face in the hope that we accept the challenge and emerge as the new generation of agricultural leaders.
Two field study trips punctuated the week (to give us a dose of fresh air) and to allow us some freedom to see on a practical level what had been discussed. One of the highlights for me was a field study trip to the new development facility of Moët & Chandon. Being a non-drinker, the sampling was wasted but the high technology involved in the processing was breathtaking. As a champagne house they are leading the way in precision champagne production. I could relate (though on a small scale) to the efficiencies in their process that could be translated to our own unit.
I’m sat at the kitchen table writing this, bag unpacked, washing in the machine and a cup of coffee at my side. My head hurts just thinking about what I’ve experienced so far, I have another year of travelling ahead of me. This is just the start of my Nuffield experience.