William Buckland was a highly successful pastoralist who had a great love of the land and agriculture. His suggestion that his Trustees, in administering funds from the Foundation, “give preference to agriculture and related pursuits” has been instrumental in developing the Advancing Agriculture Program for the Foundation.
The William Buckland Foundation, through its Advancing Agriculture Program, supports initiatives which focus on strengthening the resilience and capacity of regional and rural communities. This includes the support of innovative approaches to farming that increase yield and/or reduce damaging environmental impacts as well ensuring that rural leaders are equipped to inclusively address the challenges and embrace the opportunities that arise through change.
Nuffield Australia 2020 Scholarship winner
Supported by the William Buckland Foundation, Andrew Ham of Windermere, Victoria, receives a Nuffield Scholarship to research ways to increase agricultural efficiencies through alternative renewable energy sources and better utilisation of agricultural waste products.
Andrew works alongside his parents in the family’s diversified farming operation which encompasses oilseed crushing and refining, mixed cropping, lamb and pig production. With the majority of his time invested in the oilseed processing and refining side of the business, Andrew oversees the management of 25,000 tonnes of grain storage, the crushing of a variety of oilseeds, and project manages the implementation of new technologies for the business.
As an oilseed processor, Andrew recognises the business’ reliance on primary energy sources like coal powered electricity and natural gas, and intends to use his Nuffield Scholarship to explore alternative energy sources and the benefits their use can unlock for agricultural enterprises.
“Facing some of the highest energy and labour costs globally, in addition to increasing consumer pressure to farm in a socially and environmentally sympathetic way, we need to reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources,” Andrew said.
“By using excess waste and other secondary resources, we have an opportunity to decrease our reliance on non-renewable energy, which will in turn reduce our carbon footprint, bring running costs down and add economic, social and environmental value to our farming businesses.”
Andrew will travel across Europe, Morocco, Israel, Sweden and Japan. He will explore alternative supply, storage and usage methods of different agricultural waste products and how closed loop systems can drive sustainable productivity and profitability for the agricultural sector.