A SHEEP farmer from Rhayader is set to take his farming expertise overseas after being selected as one of the winners of the 2010 Nuffield Farming Scholarship Award.

Tony Davies, of Elan Valley Mutton based at Henfron Farm, Elan Valley, has been announced as one of 21 new Nuffield Scholars, joining the growing group of over 600 scholars in the UK and over 1,000 worldwide.

The scholars travel internationally and explore subjects and issues in a global context far beyond their back yards.

The awards are split between general awards offered by the trust themselves, dairy industry awards and regional awards which are sponsored by societies and trading organisations in the area. Tony was the recipient of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society award.

“I’m delighted to be awarded a Nuffield scholarship, especially the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society award,” said Tony. “Over the next 18 months I intend to travel to North Africa, India, the USA, Australia and France to research aspects of marketing mutton.”

The new scholars’ travels begin in the USA at an international conference focusing on global food and farming issues, where they will also join fellow Nuffield Scholars from around the world, prior to setting off on their solo studies.

John Stones, director of Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust, said: “Carrying the flag for British food and farming, our newly awarded scholars are impatient to travel, to meet industry experts at the top of their fields, to gather groundbreaking information and bring back recommendations that can help steer UK farming’s future.

“The study topics chosen by all our scholars are highly geared towards the UK farming industry and how they can benefit UK farmers. But their first Nuffield experience is truly global.”

Tony was one of three Welsh farmers to make the cut, and will be joined by Arwyn Owen, farm manager at the National Trust’s Snowdon farm, Hafod y Llan, Beddgelert, and Llyn dairy producer Rhys Williams.

Further information on the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Awards – and how to apply – can be found at www.nuffieldscholar.org.