DOVER -- Dover-area poultry farmer Georgie Cartanza is the first United States recipient of a Nuffield International Scholarship, one of 90 farmers from around the world to participate in the global agricultural scholarship program.
Cartanza, who recently began work as poultry extension specialist with the University of Delaware, will be spending 16 weeks overseas studying farming technology and production efficiencies.
She will travel to China, Brazil, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and The Netherlands, learning about topics including production needs, extreme climates, consumer demands, food safety and organic poultry transitions.
"There have been many advances in farming and technology over the last 20 years, but we still face challenges to maintain profitability and sustainability," Cartanza said. "It is critical that we understand new technology and that it's applied properly. It can be financially devastating for a farmer to make an investment and not see a return. I want to learn how farmers in other countries have solved some of these challenges and share that knowledge with others."
The Nuffield International Scholarship, supported locally by the Delaware Department of Agriculture and MidAtlantic Farm Credit, provides participants with a unique opportunity to research a specific issue in other parts of the world.
Past participants have been from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, France and The Netherlands. Cartanza is the first from the United States.
"It's great to have the first American hail from Delaware for this prestigious program," said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. "Georgie Cartanza will do us all proud with her research and exploration of these issues."
Kee has assisted with the development of a Nuffield program in the United States since 2014, and will become president of the Nuffield USA board upon his retirement in January, an unpaid volunteer position.
Cartanza has worked with poultry for more than 20 years, including time with Mountaire and Perdue. She has raised poultry on her farm near Dover for the last 10 years, and has raised organic chickens since April 2015. She began her new position as the University of Delaware poultry extension agent on December 1, and will continue to farm.
Nuffield Scholars participate in a week-long conference in March in Brazil and then spend six or seven weeks traveling internationally with other scholars, known as the Global Focus Program. The scholars will visit Washington, D.C., New York, Brazil, Mexico, Ireland, France and New Zealand. Participants then spend seven or eight weeks on their individual research projects.