“We could have gone to the likes of Dublin or some other city. Of course we could. But the Contemporary Scholars Conference is about building an experience for our attendees,” the Chief Executive Officer of Nuffield International, Jim Geltch told The Anglo-Celt. “We have 80 delegates and more speakers coming from around the world, so to come to Cavan with all it has to offer them is something special.”
Mr Geltch made the comments on a recent visit to Ireland ahead of a week-long conference at the Cavan Crystal Hotel, March 5-12.
Featuring agri-experts from Ireland, UK, Australia, NZ, Canada, France and the Netherlands, as well as international scholars from Brazil, India, China and Mozambique, the CSC is Nuffield’s flagship annual event, focusing on a range of topics including policy, trade and leadership.
A farmer back home in Australia, respected industry leader and Nuffield Scholar himself, Mr Geltch attended Ballyhaise Agricultural College as he finalised arrangements for the CSC, including potential input from local agricultural producers and factories.
“The scholarship itself composes of the Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC), the Global Focus Programme where we send groups all around the world, and then their own private work. The CSC is the signature event on the Nuffield calendar bringing together all our scholars. The objective from this is so they begin to build a global network, but also ensuring we foster a global overview of agriculture. Then on a local level, when looking at Ireland we want to see technology wise what is really driving industry, world class research and other factors too,” Mr Geltch explained.
The scholarship, established in the UK in 1947 with funds donated by the founder of Morris Motors, William Morris (Lord Nuffield), now has approximately 1,400 scholars worldwide. Mr Geltch says the influence scholars have had on agri-industry has been immense, and further paid tribute to the wider input of Irish farmers who have left these shores for other countries. He hopes that level of influence can continue to grow and that the Cavan conference can act as a catalyst for producing more scholars.
“There is a diaspora of Irish people around the world who have made a significant contribution to agriculture in America, Australia, New Zealand, you name it. Cavan is a perfect example of that, in terms of its diversity and expansive outlook on agricultural development.
“The latest from this part of Ireland was Alo Mohan, who is clearly an influential person in Irish agri-politics. He played a key role in encouraging, and in many respects, convincing us to host our CSC 2016 here in Cavan. We could have held this conference anywhere, but he convinced us fairly quickly that Cavan was the place to be,” says Mr Geltch.