Arrived by air into Adelaide Monday morning and drove 3 hours back home to Gurra Downs. It seems I have been away a very long time, particularly when greeted by the weeds in the orchards and other work awaiting my attention - but it is fantastic to be back with my family in my favourite part of the world.
I owe a lot to my Nuffield Farming Scholarship. As I reflect on this amazing trip of a lifetime I realize how much I have grown and gained from the experience. Before departing on my scholarship, initially I struggled with the concept of being way from my family and farm for such a long time (over 4 months). I was concerned about who could do my work and cover for me when I was away.
Now I have returned with a clear direction on the best ways to proceed in terms of how to manage opportunities for further growth and how to minimize labour/cost inputs in our date plantation. I have no doubt in crediting my time away as being a very good investment in the future of our industry.
I can also conclude that my being away has also empowered our business as my wife Anita and other family members were challenged to extend their usual duties to cover mine in my absence - which they did commendably. This is reassuring to me because if for any reason I am unable to contribute to running our Gurra Downs Date Company business then my fantastic family could manage without me.
Many thanks go to my family who by taking on extra, afforded me the opportunity to participate in my amazing Woolworths sponsored Nuffield Farming Scholarship. Special thanks to my wife Anita, sons Shaun and Jonte, daughters Jesse and Kelsey, parents Brian and Ruth, friend Oscar.