Congratulations to our three 2013 Scholars.

Gayl Creutzberg, Wroxeter, ON (@gumbootgourmet)

Since moving to rural Ontario, Gayl Creutzberg has never looked back. After managing a flock of sheep for six years, she redirected her focus to researching models for accessing and distributing local food. Since then, she has owned and operated a local food shop and gourmet deli, coordinated training for direct market farmers, worked with rural local food organizations, and launched a local food brand, all resulting in Gumboot Gourmet, an online farmers’ market.

Throughout her Nuffield studies, Gayl will look at whether traditional food growing practices can help re-balance our diets, strengthen local economies, build relationships between food and culture, and create quality jobs on the land and in the kitchen.

Gayl anticipates that the information and experience she will gather will feed into the community – building aspect of Gumboot Gourmet suggesting that community-based agriculture can help treat food-related diseases such as diabetes and malnurition.

Clayton Robins, Rivers, Manitoba (@ClaytonRobins)

Clayton Robins owns and operates a fourth-generation mixed family farm in Rivers, Manitoba with wife Rebecca, son Quinn, and parents Brian and Arlene. The operation, which for many years also included a sheep enterprise, and now focuses on cow/calf, back-grounding, and custom grazing of grasser steers.

Clayton’s Nuffield topic is “Improving the performance of beef cattle by optimizing the intake of plant water soluble carbohydrates.” He chose this topic based on years exploring the potential of forage-feeding and forage-finishing production systems in yearling cattle.   Information learned during a fact-finding mission in Argentina, in 2008, resulted in an updated perspective on the use of high-sugar or “dense-energy” forages.

E. Blake Vince, Merlin, Ontario, (@blake_vince)

Blake is a fifth generation farmer from Southwestern Ontario. Working with his wife, father and uncle, the farm, which produces corn, soybeans and winter wheat is focused on soil health and water management. Blake is a sales representative for Pioneer Hi-Bred and is also a director for the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario.

“Conserving farm land with cover crops and the risks of cellulosic energy” will be Blake’s Nuffield topic. “My intention is to improve the condition of my farm for future generations,” says Blake. “The main reason I chose my Nuffield topic is due to the return of full surface, conventional tillage. Soil sediment, carrying manure, fertilizer and pesticides into the Great Lakes effects people in Canada and the US.”