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The Future is Bright for the Agriculture and Food Sector

The Nuffield Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC) in Vancouver in 2023 showed the future is looking bright for the agriculture and food sector. This year’s crop of scholars came from all over the world and were working on projects as diverse as wildlife conservation, conflict resolution, media engagement, reducing greenhouse gases, and improving biodiversity.

As I spoke with these talented individuals, one thing that struck me was their humility. Despite being international scholarship winners, they were still eager to learn and grow. It was a unique perspective on rural life that I think is often overlooked. People from rural communities may assume that their opinions are not important in the wider world, but in fact, they bring a technical understanding of how to do things right from the field.

I encouraged these young scholars to have confidence in their expertise and to speak up about the issues that matter to them. Their voices are incredibly important, and we need their perspectives to shape the future of agriculture and food. The Nuffield program provides an excellent opportunity for emerging leaders in agriculture to tour the world, see different perspectives, and prepare a paper on their experiences.

The Nuffield family is truly a family. The program fosters a sense of community and support that extends far beyond the scholarship period. The scholars I spoke with were enthusiastic about staying connected with their contemporaries and mentors and continuing to collaborate on future projects. They are eager to tackle the challenges facing agriculture and food and to do so in a way that is sustainable, equitable, and just.

The conference was not just an opportunity to meet the next generation of agricultural leaders but also to draw inspiration from them. Their passion, commitment, and humility were inspiring, and I am excited to see what the future holds for them and the agriculture and food sector as a whole. It is an annual event that brings together a group of emerging agricultural leaders from around the world to exchange ideas, discuss challenges facing the agriculture industry, and develop strategies for the future.

The conference is hosted by Nuffield International, a non-profit organization that aims to promote agricultural development and leadership through education and research. Each year, Nuffield selects a group of scholars from different countries to participate in the conference.

Consider applying for this opportunity, supporting a scholar, or meeting them as they travel with world.  

Robynne Anderson

Robynne has extensive experience in the agriculture and food sector, working throughout the value chain – from basic inputs to farmers in the field to the grocery store shelf. She works internationally in the sector, including speaking at the United Nations on agriculture and food issues, and representing the International Agri-Food Network at the UN.Throughout her career she has worked with farm organisations like the Prairie Oat Growers Association, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi and the Himalayan Farmers Association, as well as global groups, to further the voice of agriculture in the food debate. She has also worked with Fortune 500 companies growing worldwide businesses to assist them with issues management and strategy decisions.

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