Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - As submitted by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association:
Brandon, Man (March 5, 2019) - Ryan Boyd is about to set out on the educational experience of a lifetime later this week when he starts the first leg of his two-year Nuffield Scholarship study.
Along with wife Sarah and parents Jim and Joanne, Boyd runs a 3,500 acre mixed farm just north of Forrest, Manitoba.
Boyd's globe-trotting learning journey starts Friday in Iowa, finishing up eight weeks later in New Zealand with stops in Washington D.C., Florida, Mexico, Brazil and The Netherlands in between as he studies Grazing Ruminants: A resilient solution to long term agriculture profitability, productivity and climate change.
"I am a firm believer that as farmers we need to remain at the cutting edge of new techniques and technology in the world of rapid change that we live in," says Boyd, a well-known advocate for Regenerative Agriculture and a MFGA board member.
"We have always embraced change with open arms on our farm and this study will allow the professional development that will be required to lead our farm and Canadian agriculture into an exciting future.
Every environment has its unique challenges, but this will be an opportunity to learn what others are doing worldwide and bring new perspective and new ideas home to the prairies.
The only Canadian among the group of seven scholars travelling together on the Brazil Global Focus Program organized by Nuffield International, Boyd will be exposed to a broad spectrum of agriculture industry before delving into the specifics of his chosen topic, Grazing Ruminants and their many benefits to the agroecosystem including better nutrient cycling, promoting soil microbial life, enhancing the soils ability to sequester and store carbon and use water more effectively. All of these benefits can directly and indirectly improve farm profitability and create societal value as the natural resources that the farm relies on become enhanced.
Boyd admits leaving the farm for first leg's two months will be tough.
He and Sarah have two young children and as every producer knows, the farm works every day, especially with cattle.
Boyd points to the incredible support of his family and the help of others in his pursuit of becoming a Nuffield Scholar.
On that front, Boyd says, support for his study has been incredibly humbling, especially with the program's onus on the individual scholar to foot half the bill.
"My Nuffield Scholarship is sponsored by the Western Grains Research Foundation and that is tremendous," says Boyd.
"The support I have received to help offset the costs of my journey from family, friends and groups interested in my research has been overwhelming.
MFGA, Manitoba Beef Producers, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Manitoba Ag Days, Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, Northstar Seeds, The Green Spot, Shur-gro Farm Services, Wheat City Seeds, SGB Agronomics and several other family members and friends have generously stepped up to support and a few more potential sponsors have expressed interest I simply can't thank everyone enough."
One way Boyd plans to help family, friends and supporters keep tabs on him is to be active on social media when and where WiFi coverage allows and time presents.
Boyd will blog regularly at www.southglantonfarms.com and will post Tweets and Instagram photos at @glantonboyd.
MFGA will monitor Boyd's travels and blogs, helping to share his experiences across MFGA's communications channels including MFGA Facebook, Twitter and soon-to-be-launched revamped website.