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LANDMARK | 23 November 2009

Helen Thomas is Landmark's 2010 Nuffield scholar

Helen Thomas, a primary producer from Manoora in South Australia’s mid-north, is the 2010 recipient of Landmark’s Nuffield scholarship. Helen will study integrated environmental management.

Each Nuffield scholarship is worth $27,000 and provides young Australian farmers with the opportunity to travel internationally and explore agricultural issues and opportunities in a global context.

Helen, together with husband Wayne, operates a mixed farming business of four properties totalling 38,500 hectares, cropping and producing wool and prime lambs, with stud and commercial poll Merino flocks of up to 8,500 head, depending on seasonal conditions.

Helen says, “My research will look at the integration of agriculture into broader, publicly-supported ecosystem management programs to preserve aesthetic, environmental and production values.”

This will involve a group trip with 17 other Nuffield scholars to China, North America, South America, the Middle East, India and Europe to investigate agricultural marketing and trade issues, environmental issues and experience the different social and cultural aspects of each region. Following this initial six-week program Helen will undertake further study in the US and Europe in her chosen field.

“Agriculture is being squeezed by the increasing urbanisation of traditional farm land. Because land values, particularly near urban centres, are often higher than the productive capacity of the land, it is difficult for farmers to carry the burden of environmental stewardship.

“I’d like to see systems where farmland is better integrated with environmental reserves and urban areas.”

For more information about the Nuffield Scholarship, you can go to www.nuffield.com.au.

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