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Beyond the Bale : June 2013
aWI Nuffield Scholarship applications for the 2014 AWI Nuffield Woolgrower Scholarship close on 30 June 2013. The scholarship is a unique opportunity for a woolgrower to study a particular subject of interest, and increase practical farming knowledge and management skills and techniques in the Australian wool industry. Mixed broadacre farmer Ben Ranford from near Cleve on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, who was the recipient of the 2008 AWI Nuffield Woolgrower Scholarship, encourages woolgrowers to apply, saying the scholarship is a life changing experience. Ben is a fourth generation farmer, cropping cereals and running a 1,200 breeding ewe, self-replacing, dual-purpose sheep flock on 3,000ha. He used his 2008 AWI Nuffield Woolgrower Scholarship to study the role of farmer collaboration in creating supply solutions. His aim was to identify how adopting a collaborative approach can meet economic, social and cultural needs for farmers in the wool and sheepmeat industry. “I targeted overseas examples of farmer co-operation, investigated business models and measured the outcomes generated,” Ben said. “I wanted to identify the motives behind collaborative participation, and the principles that sustain farmer’s commitment. I also looked at why farmers chose to operate individually and why collaborative approaches fail.” Ben found that the economies of scale in farmer owned co-operative structures created the opportunity to engage highly skilled management and apply technology to innovating competitive, sustainable supply chains. “Being ‘good farmer’ is no longer enough to meet business challenges. I recommend that sheep producers should look more closely at their supply chain arrangements to gain an understanding of how it works and who is involved. The sustainability of a supply chain relies on adding value to the customer and generating a profit for every business in the chain.” “A high capacity to supply, plus a professional business approach provides the foundation for building relationships with key customers and building sustainable supply chains.” Successful applicants for Nuffield Farming Scholarships spend a total of 16 weeks travelling the world – including six weeks of group travel through the global powerhouses of agriculture, including countries such as China, India, Brazil, USA, Canada and through Europe. Scholars then travel for a further 10 weeks by themselves, to drill down into a research topic of interest to them and of value to industry. More information: For more information and/or to apply for the scholarship, or to obtain Ben ranford’s project report, visit www.nuffield.com.au nuffield scholar Ben ranford says his international study tour has highlighted the importance of woolgrowers seeing themselves as suppliers of a product, not just commodity producers. “sHeeP ProDUcers sHoULD Look more cLoseLY at tHeIr sUPPLY cHaIn arrangements” - BEN RANFORD 42 42 September 2010 BeYoNd the BaLe 42 on-farm June 2013 BeYoNd the BaLe fast facts l AWI invites woolgrowers from across Australia to apply for the 2014 AWI Nuffield Woolgrower Scholarship. l The scholarship will enable a woolgrower to travel overseas and study an agricultural topic of his/ her choice. l 2008 Scholarship recipient Ben ranford from South Australia encourages woolgrowers to apply, saying the scholarship is a life changing experience.