Brian Dougherty named Nuffield International Farming Scholar

Brian Dougherty ...
Brian Dougherty ...

The Nuffield International Farming Scholars program has announced the selection of its 2018 Nuffield Scholars, which includes two agriculturalists from the United States of America and two from Brazil. Among those Scholars is Waukon area native Brian Dougherty, a 1991 graduate of Waukon High School and the son of John and Rita Dougherty of Waukon.

Dougherty is joined in the honor by Steven Griffin of Washington, NC, the assistant manager for Griffin AG LLC, a farming operation that grows corn, wheat and soybeans for storage and marketing, along with other value-added crop. Also joining those two American selections are two Brazilians, Artur Falcette of Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul and Mauro Nakata of Sorocaba, Sao Paulo.

The U.S. Nuffield Scholars were selected as part of a competitive process to represent the nation in this global scholarship initiative focused on building capacity in farmers, ranchers and agricultural professionals around the world. The American Scholars will join their global counterparts in The Netherlands in March to start their Nuffield International Farming Scholars journey.

Nuffield International CEO Jim Geltch, himself a 1986 Nuffield Scholar out of Australia, shared that 2018 will be an exciting time for the Nuffield International Farming Scholars program. “Having two Americans travel the world to explore agricultural best practices and technology is a great step forward for the Nuffield program as we work to grow our international footprint,” Geltch stated.

The year 2018 marks just the second year of the United States of America having Nuffield Scholars. The country previously had delegates participate in the program’s Contemporary Scholars Conference in 2012 (the Netherlands) and 2016 (Ireland).

Through the Nuffield program, Scholars and delegates engage with more than 70 agriculturalists from other nations, participating in a week long Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC), a six week Global Focus Program (GFP) which has groups of up to 10 Scholars visiting multiple nations around the world, and a further six to seven weeks of individual travel focused on their own personal study topic. At the end of their Nuffield travel, each Scholar is required to submit a study report that provides global grounding in their area of investigation and recommendations for the industry moving forward.

Currently earning his Master’s Degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, Dougherty has extensive experience on the farm and in the engineering lab. As co-owner of a 170-cow/250-acre dairy near Waukon, he has managed both animal husbandry and crop production, including corn, alfalfa, oats and cereal rye, as well as pastureland.

In addition to his on-farm work, Dougherty has an Associate Degree in Farm Management from Ellsworth Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecological Engineering from Oregon State University, and is completing his Master’s program at Iowa State. As part of his studies, he is investigating the effects of cropping management practices on soil health and nutrient losses to agricultural tile drainage water.

As a Nuffield Scholar, Dougherty is looking to study “the intersection of soil health, water quality, and agricultural management practices,” with a focus on the fundamental importance of soil health to agricultural sustainability, and related global efforts to regenerate agricultural soils.

Dougherty and his wife, Kecia, have two children, Kourtney Kleven and Chayna Staudt. "It's an honor to be selected as a Nuffield International Farming Scholar," Dougherty shared. "I plan to study innovative manure management technologies and learn about what researchers and farmers in other countries are doing to tackle challenges with soil health and water quality. I hope to bring that information back to Iowa to help producers here deal with these issues."

For the past 70 years, the Nuffield International Farming Scholars program has inspired people to make a difference in the world of agriculture. The Nuffield program focuses on building the capacity of farmers, ranchers and agriculturalists around the world through transformational travel that develops knowledge, skills and confidence they carry back to their home enterprises and local communities. With an alumni base of more than 1700 Nuffield Scholars, the program provides access to an unrivaled network of industry leaders, as well as the chance to explore production agriculture and the full value chain around the world.

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