Announcing the 2020 RAID Network blog competition winners!
What else would you do with your time in this year of COVID-19 other than enter blog competitions? Well we had a good number of people who did just that. A big THANK YOU to all who entered!
With enormous thanks to this year’s judge, John Sampson (Communications Consultant), we are very pleased to congratulate the following winners:
1st place: Dr Elizabeth Worrall
What is Ag Research for Development for me? It’s Sustainability and Breaking the ‘Grass-Ceiling’
Dr Elizabeth Worrall’s elegant and insightful piece about what Agricultural Research for Development means to her has been awarded first place in this year’s RAID Network blog competition. Addressing the theme ‘This is what ag R4D is for me’ Dr Worrall avoids number crunching the issues and instead focuses on the wider implications of agricultural research for development. It is an uplifting piece that unabashedly cheers on the work of strong female role models – those working at the coalface of agricultural issues such as climate change and nutrition deficiencies. Dr Worrall clearly articulates why women are increasingly the face and the future of agricultural research, bringing compassion and strength to a field vital for a sustainable future for planet earth. These women are farmers, agronomists and a voice for science and agriculture, and they are breaking through the ‘grass ceiling’.
2nd place: Rebekah Ash
Rebekah Ash reminds us there is so much more to agricultural research for development than pipettes and bunsen burners. The field involves a deeply personal human connection that links us all. For that she has been awarded second prize in this year’s RAID Network blog competition. Rebekah takes us on a journey to Laos, where the discovery of a gaudy, guitar-shaped thermometer is a major accomplishment, and allows the precise recording of a temperature-controlled growing tunnel for cassava, one of the world’s most important food staples. Rebekah’s piece reminds us again and again that agricultural research for development is about empowering others and that the best successes always come with a smile: “…it was not the success of the procedure, it was the smile I was met with and knowledge that a young local researcher could now test for disease at a molecular level rather than purely off visual leaf symptoms, that brought me overwhelming fulfillment.”
3rd place: Belinda Nielson
From the Lecture Hall to Experiencing it all
Belinda Nielson has been awarded third place in this year’s RAID Network blog competition for her insights into the importance of listening and learning from the people who are critical to the success of any research for development project – the people who grow food and feed some of the poorest populations on the planet. Hands-on field work. Listening to the people on the ground. Without these tools in your kit bag there is just too much room for research for development to go horribly wrong. Belinda takes us to Fiji where Cyclone Gita brings a small field trial to its knees and delivers a hard-won lesson on the vicissitudes of establishing fragile new crops on a tropical island. Experiencing weather that turned walking tracks into quagmires and made access to the trial farm plot almost impossible, Belinda emphasises the importance of understanding local conditions and challenges, and having empathy for the people who will ultimately implement successful agricultural research for development projects.