Last week was a busy week, I gave a presentation to the local year 12 business, communication, technology class on Friday morning about the innovation and technology that it being used on today's modern sugar cane farms. It was quite interesting to see there interest, in how the industry that supports the community they live in, has adapted to the pressures of surviving in a global market place. It was also a chance to share some of my Nuffield experiences from around the world, I guess the one thing that I hoped they took from my presentation was the importance of looking outside your area to see new ideas and ways of thinking.I then gave a presentation to a local river catchment advisory group on the importance of soil health, and how the people I met on my Nuffield scholarship where all dealing with the same soil health issues.On the following Tuesday I travelled up the coast 4 1/2 hours to be the dinner speaker for an industry conference. Actually it was a conference that was created by sugar cane farmers for sugar cane farmers, the whole reason for the conference was to bring farmers together to learn from other farmers, pretty cool Huh! This was the 5th one and as usual it was well attended with over 100 attending. My dinner presentation got off to a bit of a hiccup when we couldn't load my presentation, but thanks to Deb we got it up so the guests could see what I was talking about.I talked about the opportunity that Nuffield presented for the sugar cane industry, I have to say because this was really the first time I had presented to farmers I was a little unsure of the reaction I would get.The main point that I wanted to present is really summed up best by a quote that I read painted on a research stations wall in Obregon Nth Mexico. The quote was by Dr Norman E Bourlag who is well known as Noble Prize winner from 1970, and the father of the green revolution he said. "It is very important that farmers get involved to protect research from the vagaries of politics".The first question that I was asked at my conclusion was "why have we not heard from me sooner", I replied that despite my efforts I had not been invited to do so at any forum up until now.I feel for this industry to prosper it is critical for the emerging leaders be exposed to such a program as Nuffield can deliver, there is no better investment in human capital that I have been involved in.
On another note the inter cropping trial seems to be picking up , I have attached some photos.