The Company sponsors a Nuffield Farming Trust Scholar in the category of sheep, wool, or textiles.
Nuffield is an organisation that awards individuals with life changing opportunities that span their personal and professional lives, with a view to developing agricultural sector leaders and innovators of the future. Each year Nuffield Farming Scholarships are awarded to deserving individuals working in farming, horticulture, forestry or any other countryside and ancillary industry, or are in a position to influence those who do, and are resident in the UK. They will have spent at least two years working in their current appointment, be at least three years since leaving full time education or study and be no more than 45 years old.
The Company is one of the sponsors who makes funding available to assist overseas travel and a period of study for candidates wishing to look at topics pertinent to the sheep industry, and in particular the production and marketing of wool.
More details and an application form will be found on www.nuffieldscholar.org
Jimmy Stobart is a sheep and beef farmer from the Eden Valley in Cumbria.
In partnership with his brother Tom, Jimmy farms a 780 Ha upland unit. The farm is split into two main blocks, the 680 Ha moorland block is currently in a HLS scheme and runs 400 Swaledale ewes. On the other 100 Ha block they run 250 Wagyu cattle and 400 cross-bred ewes on a rotational grazing system. This system has developed over the last 7 years as they have focused on growing and utilizing as much grass as possible.
As Jimmy’s farming system has developed so has his appetite to learn more about the wider industry issues and challenges that livestock farming faces. That’s why he applied for a Nuffield Farming Scholarship, and we were delighted to select him as one of the 2020 scholars.
Although Jimmy’s topic is based on ecological outcomes in grazing systems, as a sheep farmer and shearer he as a keen interest in the future of the wool industry in the UK. As I conduct my study travels he will look at how wool features in different production systems around the world and the relevance of this to the UK wool production. Jimmy plans to visit Papua New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania, America, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Europe along with visits in the UK and Ireland.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Company of the Merchant of the Staple of England for the kind sponsorship of my Nuffield Farming Scholarship.
The 2014/15 project
Jen Hunter looked at how wool is processed to suit today’s environmental concerns; compare natural and synthetic fibers; and to allow consumers to make informed decisions about ethical and ecological production techniques. The ultimate goals are finished wool products that are as carbon neutral as the fleece itself, manufactured as a natural, long-life textile and for the product owner to appreciate wool as a truly versatile, protective and comforting, renewable and biodegradable by-product.