Nicky Mann off for a six week intensive global tour


Nicky Mann

Central Coast hydroponic rose grower Nicky Mann is all set to embark on a six week intensive global agricultural study tour as part of the Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship she was awarded last year.

Mann and eight other Nuffield scholars depart from Canberra on Saturday, May 31, for a tour that will take them to the Philippines, China, Canada, the US, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Ireland. Her travel companions include a diverse range of farmers and related specialists from Australia and overseas and were selected from a field of more than 400 scholarship applicants. Supported by Horticulture Australia Limited and the Federal Government, the Nuffield Australia Scholarship funds a select group of the world’s leading primary producers to travel the globe to study the world’s best agricultural practices, while focusing on an individual topic of interest.

The idea behind the program is that each scholar not only utilises the skills and knowledge learnt on the tour to further their own agricultural ventures but also shares key findings with other farmers back home. “Our group is extremely diverse and we all have very different study topics,” said Ms Mann, who, together with husband Wade, owns the Roses2Go Rose Farm at Woongarrah and the Roses2Go florist at East Gosford. “But the idea is that this first part of our scholarship is focused on the bigger picture.

“We will be invited to meet and visit places which would normally be impossible to visit as individuals”, said Mann. The study tour includes 10 days in China during which time the group will meet with politicians, industry leaders and farmers. They will also attend the Nuffield International Conference in Canada and have the opportunity to meet some of the USA’s most influential agricultural decision makers in Washington DC. “The overall intention is to make us better agricultural leaders and decision makers for our own countries, communities and industries,” said Mann.

On completion of the international study tour, Mann will undertake a further six week’s independent study to drill down into her individual area of interest, which is intensive hydroponic berry production within hi-tech greenhouses. This area of study will support a new project currently well underway at the family rose farm at Woongarrah to grow raspberries and blueberries in a fully hydroponic and semi-closed greenhouse system. She will also pursue an interest in aquaponics and greenhouse bee keeping for pollination purposes to gauge how both could be integrated with hydroponic berry and flower production.

As part of her obligation to Horticulture Australia Limited and Nuffield, Mann will document her international learning journey and has established a blog for this purpose. She will also present her findings on her return from the tour and will be available for local presentations for those interested. Featured earlier this year on ABC’s Landline, the Mann’s are helping shine the spotlight on the Central Coast, which Horticulture Australia Limited has identified as a region with further intensive agricultural potential given its location and the existence of some quality small farms.


Media release,
23 May 2014
Phaedra Pym,
A Way With Words