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YAS Nuffield scholarship aiding Yorkshire's agricultural industry

Improving efficiency in the UK’s beef industry is the subject of the 2014 Nuffield scholarship awarded by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. The Society is best known as the organiser of the annual Great Yorkshire Show and its sister event, Countryside Live.

Richard Pennock, deputy manager at Myton Hall Farms, Boroughbridge, York, has been selected as the Society’s scholar and will look at a wide variety of farm systems during his study tour.

Myton Hall Farms is owned by Sir Ken Morrison who is Honorary President of Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc. Its activity includes a fattening unit producing high quality continental cross bred cattle for the UK beef market.

Richard was officially awarded his scholarship at the annual Nuffield Conference on Thursday 21 November, and his studies officially begin in the New Year.

Nuffield scholarships provide the opportunity to travel for at least 8 weeks over an 18 month period to study a subject related to their working life.

Nigel Pulling, the Society’s Chief Executive said: “Richard is exactly the type of person who will benefit from a Nuffield scholarship.

He’s passionate about the industry and beef production, and is at the stage in his career where increased knowledge of the various systems will assist his own farming practice and will be of great interest to other beef producers.“

Richard is an active member of the Society’s Future Farmers of Yorkshire group and also of Boroughbridge Young Farmers Club.

Myton Hall Farms runs about 1,000 cattle; they are bought in at 15 to18 months and finished in around 120 days on a maize silage and cereal-based diet. The enterprise also includes 1,100 acres of arable land and a flock of 300 Texel cross and mule ewes.

Richard commented: “I am delighted to have this opportunity and look forward to sharing my experiences. I am particularly interested in pioneering the concept of large scale commercial farming in which production is consumer-driven.”

“I believe that small-scale farms selling products at farm shops and markets are in touch with consumer requirements, but this is often lost on larger farms which often don’t have the same consumer contact.”

He has yet to finalise his scholarship plans, but is considering visits to major beef producing countries in North and South America and possibly Australia, plus British farms.

Commending Richard, Sir Ken said: “Winning the scholarship is much to Richard’s credit. He has huge energy, drive and enthusiasm and I am sure he will use this opportunity to increase his knowledge and speed his personal development. I am sure he will be a great ambassador for the British farming industry.”

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