Five Nuffield Ireland Scholarships were announced on 11 October.

The new Irish scholars who will undertake the Nuffield Scholarship are David Dolan, Aoife Feeney, Lance Woods, Pat Collins and Nick Cotter.

Nick Cotter will commence his scholarship in 2024 on completion of his university degree, with the other four beginning in 2022.

The objective of the Irish Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust is to identify future leaders of Irish agriculture and facilitate their ambition to bring about meaningful change for the benefit of their community.

Following a two-stage interview process, the selection panel chose the five successful candidates.

Meet the scholars

David Dolan, Garrymore, Claremorris, Co Mayo

Nuffield study topic: Net zero carbon emissions farming: a look at the state of the art

David is a dairy farmer and director of the family dairy business. He has a BSc from the University of Limerick.

In the seven years that he has been involved in the family business, it has undergone significant development.

He also gained experience working on dairy farms in NZ and in Ireland.

Further development is planned for his farm business over the next five years. He is actively involved in discussion groups and dairy programmes.

Aoife Feeney, Ballincollig, Co Cork

Nuffield study topic: Identifying key methods to influence behaviour change at farm level to improve water quality

Aoife is farm sustainability manager with the Carbery Group.

Originally from Co Longford, Aoife got her degree and masters in agricultural science in UCD.

She has also worked as team leader and agricultural adviser in the Farm Relief Services and Teagasc.

In her current role, she develops farm programmes and initiatives to support the four co-ops that own Carbery Group and their shareholders towards sustainable milk production.

Lance Woods, Cootehill, Co Cavan

Nuffield study topic: Understanding and reacting to AMR in Irish agriculture to save lives – what motivates change?

Lance's primary objectives for his study were how do we reduce AMR in Irish agriculture and how to change behaviour, habits and mindset at farm level.

Lance intends to travel to Canada, Sweden, Denmark and the UK during the course of his Nuffield Scholarship.

Lance grew up on a small pedigree cattle and sheep farm and has been immersed in Irish agriculture from a young age.

Lance is currently a ruminant territory manager with MSD Animal Health Ireland.

He has a BAgrSc from UCD and a NOAH Certificate in Animal Health from Harper Adams.

Lance obtained his masters in business administration (MBA) from DCU in 2018.

He has 10 years' experience in the animal health industry. Lance has experience working with agricultural systems across Ireland, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Pat Collins, Castlemartyr, Co Cork

Nuffield study topic: How dairy beef production and arable farming complement each other in an integrated system

Pat is a full-time beef and tillage farmer. His farm is a host farm for the Grass10 campaign and the Greenacres dairy calf to beef programme.

Pat was the beef category winner of the Grassland Farmer of the year award 2020.

He has started a new business providing a grass measurement service to farmers and another business training and selling point-to-point horses to race on the track.

Nick Cotter, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick

Nuffield study topic: Getting off blanket worming: An evaluation of current best practice and newer tools to reduce anthelmintic use and anthelmintic resistance on ruminant livestock farms

Nick is co-founder and CEO of three companies and is studying for a law and business degree in UCC.

The companies are Cotter Agritech, Cotter Bros Firewood and Cotter Organic Lamb.

He and his companies have received a number of innovation and entrepreneurial awards and was named in the 2020 Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs by the Sunday Independent.

He was awarded a UCC Quercus Innovation/entrepreneurship scholarship.

He grew up on the family sheep farm, which conducts performance recording, rotational grazing and grass measurement.