AHDB expands global horizons hosting international Nuffield Scholars

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) hosted 10 Nuffield Scholars who are taking part in the organisation’s International Global Focus programme.

The visit on 20 June included presentations from AHDB on key areas for the organisation and UK agriculture, as well as a farm visit to a mixed farm in Northamptonshire.

The Nuffield Global Focus Programme aims to develop scholars’ understanding of global agriculture, broaden their horizons and gives them the opportunity to meet with progressive businesses, organisations and governments from across the world.

Izak Van Heerden, AHDB Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager and 2023 Nuffield Scholar, said, “It was great to welcome scholars form the Nuffield International Global Focus programme to AHDB. With scholars from New Zealand, Australia, USA and Brazil, the visit strengthened AHDB’s international ties and broadened our industry outlook. The scholars who attended came from a wide range of backgrounds with a wealth of knowledge and ideas. Sharing their experiences from back home, we learnt much from the group of how an organisation like AHDB can help farmers.”

During the morning the scholars heard from Chris Gooderham, AHDB Livestock Science and Environment Director, about AHDB’s new baselining project and how it will help farmers understand their environmental impact and empower them to make changes while helping the industry redefine how farming is seen on the environmental stage.

Dr Mandy Nevel, AHDB Head of Animal Health and Welfare, spoke about work to improve health and welfare including industry’s response to Bluetongue. Jonathan Eckley, AHDB Head of International Trade Development, gave an update on the organisation’s work in opening new markets and recent successes. David Eudall, AHDB Economics and Analysis Director, gave the group an overview of the macro-economics of UK Agriculture, and finally, Liam Byrne, AHDB Domestic and International Marketing Director, spoke about how AHDB’s marketing work champions British beef, lamb, pork and dairy on behalf of levy payers.

The day was rounded off with a visit to Perkins Lodge, a previous AHDB Strategic Farm run by Mark Jelley. Mark brought his experiences of working with AHDB and within UK agriculture to life through open discussions with the group.

Carlos Bagrie, 2024 Nuffield New Zealand Scholar, said, “Visiting AHDB as part of my Nuffield scholarship journey gave tremendous insight into British farming. Chatting with their heads of departments, I was given a feel for the political and economic challenges and opportunities that will shape the UK’s agricultural landscape. Coming from New Zealand, I found this particularly interesting, as I did the solidarity of one organisation to represent the needs of the wider agriculture sector.”

Claudia Benn, 2024 Nuffield Australia Scholar, said, “The day spent with AHDB was so informative and helpful for us to get some context around the UK agricultural industry, the SFI and environmental challenges and targets, as well as the geopolitical/trade climate in the UK. It really helped pull things together for me to get a broader idea of what’s happening in the agricultural space, including both challenges and opportunities. The work AHDB is doing is so important for the future of the industry.”


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