Nuffield Scholars Program Provides International Travel and Education

Nuffield Scholars explore wheat fields and discuss harvest volume, Common Ag Plan and regional markets on a farm in France. ( Jean Lonie )

What does trade and tariff talk mean for your agricultural operation? What is happening in agriculture around the world? And how do I not just compete, but grow in an increasingly complex marketplace? 

If you’ve ever thought about any of these questions, consider applying for the Nuffield International Farming Scholars program. 

The Nuffield International Farming Scholars program, which started in 1947, selects a group of up to 85 farmers and agri-professionals from more than 12 countries annually to travel as Nuffield Scholars and embark on an international journey to study key agricultural issues and develop a worldwide network.

You can join the ranks of this prestigious group by applying for a Nuffield Farming Scholarship. Valued at $30,000 (covered by the program), a Nuffield Scholarship includes 16 weeks of travel over the span of 18 months. Applicants must have direct engagement in the agriculture industry and be between the ages of 28 and 45 (though other ages will be considered). 

Applicants select an individual study topic to explore, culminating in a report that makes them an industry leader at home and around the world. 

“This program gets you out of your comfort zone and highlights the importance of thinking globally about production ag,” says Jean Lonie, 2018 Nuffield Scholar and U.S. honorary ambassador at Nuffield International. “The program provides individuals in agriculture with travel and exposure to agricultural operations, businesses, and leaders in and adjacent to the industry, and allows them to build a network of experts and leaders all over the world.” 

Nuffield Scholars Program
The 2018 Global Focus Group meets at the European Union Parliament in Brussels. (Photo: Jean Lonie)

Australian producer John Gladigau used his Nuffield Scholars stipend to study collaborative farming principles around the world. 

“I went to 50 to 60 businesses around the world,” Gladigau says. “You sort of tick things off. There’d be these common themes from all the successful businesses. ... None are surprising, but they are so significant as the backbone of our business.”

Read more about how this process changed Gladigau’s farm operation

For 2019, U.S. participants are eligible for five scholarships: 

  • TIAA-CREF Global Agriculture: open to farmers and agri-professionals from USA, Brazil, and Chile.
  • U.S. Labor Efficiency Scholarship: sponsored by a U.S. firm and focusing on labor efficiency in planting primary production. 
  • U.S. Organic Coalition: open to organic producers and agri-professionals in the U.S.
  • Iowa-Focused Scholarship: supported by several Iowa producer groups and open to a farmer or agri-professional in Iowa.
  • Delaware-Focused Scholarship: supported by several Delaware agricultural organizations for a farmer or agri-professional in Delaware.

Four Components Of A Nuffield Scholarship

The Nuffield International Farming Scholars program involves international travel and agricultural networking. Here’s an overview of what participants will experience.

  • Contemporary Scholars Conference: A weeklong program in March (held in Ames, Iowa in 2019) for newly selected Nuffield Scholars. Conference participants are introduced to a network of farmers and ag industry professionals. Speakers share insights on trade and policy issues, and scholars develop skills in leadership at practical and political levels.
  • Global Focus Program: For six weeks, a small group of Nuffield Scholars travel the globe to investigate agricultural marketing, trade and environmental issues, all while experiencing the social and cultural aspects of each region. These trips have included visits to countries such as New Zealand, China, Brazil, Kenya, Ireland, France, India, Mexico, Indonesia, Japan, Israel, Canada, Germany, Poland and the U.S.
  • Private Study: After the conference and focus program, Nuffield Scholars embark on a seven- to eight-week individual study program that enables them to travel to countries of choice on a study topic relevant to agriculture.
  • Reporting: Nuffield Scholars submit a culminating report on their experience and study topic, which includes what they discovered, what this means for their investor and the ag industry, as well as how it will make a demonstrative change to their business. The written report is followed by a verbal presentation at an agricultural conference.

Applications are due Sept. 30, 2018. The 2019 finalists will be interviewed in November and December. Winning scholars will start the program at the Contemporary Scholars Conference in Iowa in March.

To download an application and learn more, visit