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Two Nuffield Scholars Shine

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The hard work and contribution to agriculture of two Nuffield Scholars has been recognised in the 2023 Delicious Produce Awards, revealed this morning.

Tasmania's Richard Weston, a 2012 Scholar who studied white asparagus and its gourmet market potential, received the Unearthed Producer award with his family. It recognises farmers who are "challenging the status quo and finding new ways to produce innovative, high-quality, nutritious, flavoursome food in an environmentally sustainable way".

Victoria's Jason Cotter, a 2020 Scholar who will soon present the findings of his research, received a From the Earth award for his work running Tuerong Farm. Jason and his family grows and mills heritage, ancient and modern grains. He studied grain diversity and adding value in specialist markets.

Nuffield Australia Chair Robert Bradley congratulated both scholars and said their accolades were well-deserved and hard-won.

"Nuffield Scholars, by nature, are innovators so we're thrilled to see both Richard and Jason championing great things for the agriculture industry.

Richard Weston, 2012 Scholar, Tasmania

"Richard's award comes after only his first year of commercial sales to leading restaurants in his new business, Tasmanian White Asparagus, making it all the more impressive."

Mr Bradley, said Richard was a great example of a small producer who has utilised his scholarship to build an international network of expertise to help pioneer a new niche industry in Australia.

"White asparagus is a highly prized ingredient in premium and hatted restaurants across Europe," Mr Bradley said.

"Australian chefs have not had access to this delicacy until now. Nuffield Australia is very proud to be a part of the journey Richard has taken to deliver white asparagus to Australian tables and this award is richly deserved.”

Findings of a passion for flour

Mr Bradley said the award-winning flours produced at Tuerong Farm are now complimented by further recognition of its owner and operator, Jason Cotter.

Jason Cotter, 2020 Scholar, Victoria

Jason's research has focused on identifying propagation and processing techniques that prioritise flavour and establishing winter wheats with greater climate resilience.

"Jason is passionate about cultivars and practices that prioritise flavour, nutrition and sustainability over convenience.

"It's yet another example of the way in which Nuffield Scholars help Australia feed the world more sustainably and with products of increasing quality."

Jason will formally present the findings of his scholarship at the Nuffield National Conference, to be held in Perth on 11-13 September. Register to attend and hear his presentation here:

The Delicious Produce Awards, presented annually, "champions Australia's best primary and artisan food producers ". The awards are run by News Life Media's Delicious magazine.

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