Welcome 2016 Scholars

Timothy Smith, Coronation, Alberta

After reflecting on 100 years of ranch family heritage, combined with a degree in agriculture, Tim Smith, the 2016 Glacier Media Nuffield Scholar, successfully rebuilt and grew from a small portion of a divided farm established in 1915 to successful 800 head cow/calf cattle operation. He and his family also own a custom forage harvest business, harvesting several thousands of acres each year. He is also highly involved in the agricultural industry, serving on his provincial beef cattle organization and representing Alberta Beef Producers nationally.

Through his Nuffield project, Tim plans to research the valuation of ecological goods and services provided by cattle ranching.  He believes there is much to be gleaned in studying how other cultures recognize and valuate pastoral benefit.  His interest is in the development of national support to encourage and improve sustainable habitats, as well as how that support is transferred to the actual stewards of the land.  Tim believes that good stewardship of the land will be increasingly important to the financial health of Canadian cattle country.

Tim plans to visit some of the larger beef exporting countries of the world including South America, Australia, and the U.S.

Tony Balkwill, Paris, Ontario

Tony Balkwill, an independent agronomy specialist based out of Southern Ontario, wins the inaugural Grain Farmers of Ontario Nuffield Scholarship. As owner of NithField Advanced Agronomy, he manages thousands of acres of cropland across several counties. He is also a third generation farmer who farms in the Oxford and Brant areas. His farming operation is the foundation for NithField’s research and development program and consists of 400+ acres of full production field scale research systems. Tony has been working with producers for over ten years. He is a Certified Crop Advisor, a graduate of the University of Guelph and the University of Illinois, specializing in Crop Science. Tony is an avid public speaker and a published writer with the American Society of Agronomy, Better Farming and Grain Farmers of Ontario.

With his Nuffield Scholarship, Tony will be looking at the challenges of accurately modernizing historical soil type maps into field specific management zones by studying the geology and make-up of agriculture soils and how they can be a foundation and predictor for variable rate farming, in the aim of increasing production potential and sustainability.

Tony will primarily be visiting large ‘grain belts’ across the world including Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia.

Tony’s scholarship is sponsored by Grain Farmers of Ontario.

“Grain Farmers of Ontario is pleased to congratulate Tony on his scholarship,” says Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We are proud to support his commitment to advancing grain farming practices in Ontario and look forward to sharing his learnings with our farm-members throughout his Nuffield journey.”

Follow Tony @TonyBalkwill

Clair Doan, Norwich, ON

Clair’s mission is to productively contribute to the Canadian agriculture industry as a passionate advocate, turkey and grain farmer and professionally as the Associate Vice President of Agriculture for Ontario at National Bank of Canada.  He graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. (Agr) and a Masters of Agribusiness (MAB) from Kansas State University.

Along with his wife Kathryn and daughters Carmyn, Sophia, and Charlotte, Clair lives near Norwich, Ontario where agriculture and farming is truly a family affair.

Clair’s Nuffield project will focus on how Canada’s supply managed sectors, particularly poultry farmers, can manage during times of uncertainty with increased political and global market pressures.  As an advocate for our system, Clair seeks to gain a thorough understanding of production and marketing models abroad.  His focus is to ensure the industry remains relevant and competitive while seeking market opportunities.

Visits to Australia, New Zealand, England, and Holland to investigate the impact of changes in supply management policies, as well as to the Southern US to better understand the integration of the American poultry industry make up the majority of Clair’s travel plans.

Follow Clair @clairdoan