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Iowa agricultural leaders have an opportunity

By Staff | Oct 13, 2017

Selling American agricultural products internationally makes an important contribution to our nation’s economy. It’s also hugely significant for the Hawkeye State.

According to information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, agricultural exports support more than 1 million American jobs. The importance of the international marketplace means that agricultural leaders in our state need to increase their understanding of its components.

That’s why Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging Iowa farmers and agribusiness professionals to consider applying for a Nuffield International Scholarship.

The scholarship program was developed in 1947 by William Morris, an entrepreneur in the United Kingdom. He saw it as part of a post-war strategy to stimulate farmers to increase food production and rebuild an economy devastated by World War II. Over the last half century, more than 1,700 Nuffield Scholars have been sponsored worldwide.

This highly respected program allows individuals selected as Nuffield Scholars to travel internationally for a minimum of 16 weeks to research agricultural production, distribution, management and/or communication. This amazing scholarship has the strong support of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, National Pork Board and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. It is open people involved in various aspects of Iowa agriculture.

“I have had the opportunity to see firsthand some of the farmers and agribusiness leaders who have participated in the Nuffield International Scholarship program and I am excited for this program to expand in Iowa,” Northey said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Approximately 80 Nuffield Scholarships will be awarded to farmers and agri-professionals for the 2018-19 program. Applications are due Oct. 31. Information about the application process can be found at nuffieldinternational.org.

Farm News agrees with Northey that this magnificent program offers an exciting opportunity for agricultural leaders in our area to broaden their knowledge of what is truly a worldwide agricultural marketplace. We urge local leaders to give serious consideration to applying. Those selected will have the chance to develop a perspective on agriculture that will benefit them personally. More importantly, it also will make them better able help their colleagues in the local agricultural community craft marketing strategies that will keep our vital farm economy thriving far into the future.

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