by SUSAN MANN
Crosby Devitt, Grain Farmers of Ontario’s manager of market development and research, has been awarded a Canadian Nuffield Farming Scholarship to investigate grain research partnerships around the world.
Devitt was one of three Canadians awarded the scholarship, worth $15,000 each, for this year. The announcement was made Jan. 25 by the Canadian Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust. The other two recipients are from Alberta.
Devitt says he’ll be leaving on Feb. 13 and travelling to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Mexico, the United States and Brazil in South America for six weeks. “It’s going to be awesome.”
The project will include an examination of ways private and public entities form partnerships with farmers to better meet the growing demand for increased grain productivity. Devitt says he’ll be writing a report on his findings and make recommendations to help farm organizations partner with government and industry to improve productivity and efficiency.
The report goes to the Nuffield Canada organization. The entire project must be completed in two years.
“The goal of it is to add value to Canadian agriculture,” says Devitt, who also owns and operates a farm near Ripley on the shores of Lake Huron where he grows corn, soybeans, winter wheat and white beans.
Research is the way to improve farmers’ productivity, including the use of new genetics and new ways of farming, he says, noting yields for Ontario corn, soybeans and wheat have been going up “but I think we have room to do even more.”
He’ll be sharing his findings with anyone who’s interested and particularly with Grain Farmers of Ontario, which is supporting him. He also plans to write a blog while on his trip. The blog isn’t live yet but it will be linked through the Nuffield Canada website.
The Nuffield scholarships are awarded to men and women who are judged to have the greatest potential to create value for themselves, their industries and their communities through the doors that will be opened and the opportunities provided, it says in a press release from Nuffield Canada.
Applications for the 2013 scholarships are due April 30. Forms are available on the organization’s website.