Vinery Manager’s Nuffield Scholarship

Vinery Stud’s farm manager Adam Williamson has been awarded a scholarship to study the benefits of combating pasture compaction for horses by Nuffield Australia.

The Nuffield Scholarship is supported by AgriFutures Australia and is worth $30,000.  It will enable Williamson to visit thoroughbred industries in the United States, Ireland, France and Japan for further research into ways of advancing long-term horse health and profitability.

Adam joined Vinery 12 years ago and leads a dedicated team of eight workers reporting to General Manager Peter Orton.  “Peter is very supportive and gives us a large degree of autonomy which makes for a positive working environment.  We all take pride in the property and it’s looking tremendous with great grass cover.

“We’ve had a great season with above-average rainfall after the hardship of the big drought.  We’re just disappointed the current restrictions meant the Stud’s clients couldn’t be here in person to see the farm and gardens during the stallion parades.”

Adam (pictured) also operates Williamson-Agri in partnership with his mother Rosemary.  The company designs and manufactures deep-tillage and feedlot-specific equipment in Toowoomba and Hunter Valley.

The Williamsons hail from England and Adam’s parents Frank and Rosemary immigrated in 1980.  They initially settled in the central-west of NSW at Forbes and the family knows all too well the pressures of farming life.

“Dad was a potato farmer in Lincolnshire before coming out to Australia,” Adam recalled.  “He was an adventurous guy and dreamed of ways to make farming easier by developing ‘ground-breaking’ machines that we continue to manufacture at Williamson-Agri.

“We aim to provide farmers the best value for money with reliable machines that increase productivity, maximise profit and keep the soil healthy.”

Frank passed away three years ago and left a lasting legacy as an inventor and a loving husband, father and grandad.

The 2022 Nuffield Scholarship will also be an adventure for Adam albeit with a plenty of hard work that will be the basis of 10,000-word paper to be delivered at the conclusion of the program.

“Nuffield has an extensive international network and it will deepen my understanding of pasture management for horses,” Adam said in a recent interview with the Scone Advocate Newspaper.  “It’s different to managing other livestock because consideration needs to be given to not only weight gain but the superior structure and function of horses.”

The first Nuffield Farming Scholarship was awarded in Australia 70 years ago.  It drives industry leadership, particularly through periods of change like the COVID pandemic which has highlighted adaptability and leadership as crucial elements of a successful business.

The 2022 Nuffield Scholarships were awarded to six recipients from Queensland, two from both NSW and Tasmania and one each in Victoria and South Australia.  It facilitates the study of topics as diverse as carbon sequestration and accounting, the utilisation of drones and research into Australian native foods.  Overall, researching innovative concepts, techniques and systems will help make a positive impact on the broader Australian agricultural industry.

“Nuffield Australia supports progressive agronomy and I want to express my thanks to them for the opportunity to narrow down my research into combating pasture compaction,” Adam said this week.  “That will help studs like Vinery and the wider thoroughbred industry.”