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Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust

Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust - International Conference Pushing the Boundaries - World Agriculture 2050 International Nuffield Conference, sponsored by Rabobank and Agmardt

Rural ‘movers and shakers’ gathering in New Zealand

Nuffield scholars from Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Canada and Zimbabwe are gathering in Auckland this weekend to join their New Zealand colleagues for nearly three weeks of discussions, exploration and a world triennial conference.

The focal point of the visit is the international Nuffield conference in Rotorua on Saturday, 26 February, with around 200 people registered for the conference, which is based around the theme, “Pushing the Boundaries - World Agriculture 2050”. These include nearly 60 from the UK and Ireland, 40 Australians, eight Canadians and three from Zimbabwe. Nuffield scholars tend to be the movers and shakers in the global agribusiness sectors. Many become successful commercial businessmen and take leading roles in local communities and farmer politics.

There are around 100 booked on the pre and post conference tour, which starts in Auckland on 20 February, and ends in Queenstown on 5 March, with the itinerary including the Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Marlborough, Canterbury and South Canterbury, and Otago. The itinerary is based around the need for sustainable agricultural management and how better managing the environment will support that.

Visits are scheduled to several environment and conservation projects, focuses on advances in research and technology, with visits to a wide range of agribusinesses including thoroughbred horse studs, a dairy operation, beef and sheep farming, horticulture, viticulture, mussel farming, deer farming, and wool production, including fine merino.

Guest speakers at the conference include Professor Robert Thompson, of Illinois University, who will be focusing on the issues that will drive world agriculture over the next 50 years, in both the developed and undeveloped world; Warren Parker, formerly of Ruakura and now based in Queensland, whose topic will be new and emerging technologies and their likely impact on world agriculture; Warren McNabb, of Massey University, who will be discussing genes and nutrition - matching human genetypes with their specific nutritional needs to optimise health and quality of life; Dr Morgan Williams, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, who will be focussing on genetic modification and whether the ecological threat over-rides the economic benefits; and Ben Russell, of RaboBank, whose subject will be the threats and opportunities of ownership structures and intellectual property rights along the agrifood and fibre value chain. Assistance in bringing the speakers to the conference was provided byRaboBank and AGMARDT.

International Nuffield pre/post conference tour – 20 February to 5 March, 2005

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