Eugowra's Caitlin Herbert has been awarded a Nuffield scholarship to investigate best practice in intensification of the beef industry across the world - and bring that knowledge home.
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Caitlin is the sixth generation at Gundamain and it's where she sees her future with husband Ed Thomas, so resilience in agriculture is a focus for her.
"We - the same as everyone else went through the last drought ... and then when we had the flood in November last year it grew my learning into natural disaster resilience because I think Eugowra just proved how much a close town becomes more resilient," she said.
The Nuffield scholarship program matches young people in agriculture, particularly primary producers, to investigate a topic of interest to themselves as well as of importance to their industry.
The program will take Caitlin all over the world over the next year, on group tours organised by Nuffield as well as to producers particular to her research, to look at best practice for intensification of the extensive beef industry.
"As we know during a drought everything goes from out in the paddock to locked up and fed just to not only endure but to recover through that stage," Caitlin said.
"I'm interested in going overseas and looking at how other places do this intensification of animal industries well while not affecting the welfare side of things.
"It'll be interesting to look at alternative feed sources, international industry welfare protocols, alternate water sources, risk registers, contingency plans - those type of things - to see what we can do for mitigation and also for recovery while not affecting welfare - and economics."
Just where this will take her over the next 12 to 16 months is being finalised: Caitlin already has contacts in the United States and Canada, but has also had recommendations for connections in other parts of the world. But she's also looking forward to the varied opportunities the program will present.
"For example a group last year went to Qatar and as we know that's desert so it's pretty much full time drought and they manage their intensive animal systems: they import all their feed, all their hay, and how that's sustainable financially," Caitlin said.
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