Lucy Collins from Dixie, South-West Victoria, has been selected as the Gardiner Dairy Foundation supported Nuffield Scholar for 2021. Through her research, Lucy will investigate the value of dairy welfare benchmarking and opportunities for marketing Australian dairy products with an ethical advantage.

In addition to working alongside her partner Matthew on the family’s 650 cow dairy farm, Lucy is a dairy veterinarian with Apiam Animal Health and forms part of the leadership team at Kyabram Veterinary Clinic. She is also currently completing a Masters in Veterinary Science (Dairy), with a focus on public perceptions and welfare enhancement in the Australian dairy industry.

Lucy’s research will explore overseas dairy welfare auditing programs and the potential for diversification of Australian dairy products into the ethical or high welfare space.

“Animal welfare forms a huge part of the debate around our industry’s social sustainability” Lucy said.

“Through my Nuffield Scholarship, I plan to investigate international models for welfare assessment and benchmarking that could be applicable in an Australian context.

“To ensure future profitability and viability, our industry needs to be both proactive and progressive in this space. It is imperative we continue to strive towards more ethical practices that will foster and maintain confidence amongst Australian consumers and overseas markets.”

“I look forward to exploring existing strategies and emerging trends that successfully align the priorities of both farmers and the public whist maintaining trust and transparency for all.”

Lucy will investigate and assess global welfare practices and assurance schemes across the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States and Canada during her Nuffield Scholarship.