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AgriFoRwArdS students take part in the Douglas Bomford Trust Bi-Annual meeting

The Douglas Bomford Trust was founded in 1972 with the purpose of advancing knowledge, understanding, practice, and competence in the application of engineering technology to achieve sustainable agricultural, food and biological systems for the benefit of the environment and mankind. This is primarily achieved through the funding of many awards and prizes ranging from travel awards through to full studentships.

Working with the AgriFoRwArdS CDT, the trust is a highly engaged industry sponsor, and sponsors Cohort 3 student, Callum Lennox, with his work on precision spraying. Importantly, the trust also supports application to the IAgrE (Institution of Agricultural Engineers) and pays for all student membership fees.

On the 5th April, the beautiful Riseholme campus had the privilege of hosting the Douglas Bomford Trust, Board of Trustees with their bi-annual meeting. This event gathers the whole board of trustees to review and discuss the latest activities taking place within the trust as well as technical direction the sector is heading. This not only helps further inform awards or sponsorships, but is also an opportunity to share the current state-of-the-art technologies and their real world applications. It is also provides the chance for the trust to meet students and discuss their research and applications.

Cohort 3 student Callum Lennox, presenting his AI precision weed sprayer research project to the Douglas Bomford Trust. Next to Callum is Trustee, Prof Paul Miller who is supporting Callum on the project.

AgriFoRwArdS CDT cohort 3 students, Xumin Gao, Emlyn Williams, Garry Clawson, and Callum Lennox, as well as several researchers and CDT supervisors attended the second half of the trustee meeting, from 12:00 onwards, to share a lunch and then take part in a tour of the Riseholme campus. The host for the event was Prof Simon Pearson who is a co-investigator of the CDT, a founding director of the Lincoln Institute for Agri Food Technology (LIAT) and also recently appointed a trustee with the Douglas Bomford Trust.

Just prior to lunch, the trustees, students, researchers and wider team were invited to introduce themselves to the wider group. During this introduction it was fascinating to hear the wide array of backgrounds the team had but especially the breadth and depth of experience the trustees had in the sector. The lunch also presented a great opportunity for students to network and chat with the board members about their experiences and perspective on challenges in the sector. It also allowed the board to hear what the students were working on and their research interests.

The Douglas Bomford Trust taking in a presentation with Adrian Salazar Gomez and Madeleine Darbyshire; researchers at L-CAS.

The Riseholme site tour consisted of visiting several of the labs, including the AgriFoRwArdS CDT workshops, managed by Dr Rob Llyod. The group also had the opportunity to see autonomous soft fruit picking presented by Dr Soran Parsa. During the tour latest research was shared and applications discussed. The board has many insightful questions for the students and researchers alike. Key themes were practical applications, speed of systems as well as details around system power management and requirements for IT and data infrastructure.

The Riseholme campus was a wonderful way to host a meeting of this nature.

Alan Plom, Secretary to the Douglas Bomford Trust said;

Our Trustees enjoyed the opportunity to see the innovative research and were impressed by the the knowledge and enthusiasm of the whole AgriFoRwArdS team, covering a wide range of specialisms. We look forward to working with Prof Simon Pearson – as one of our Trustees, and his colleagues at Lincoln Institute for Agrifood Technology (LIAT)

Student participant Garry Clawson (AgriFoRwArdS CDT Cohort 3) commented;

Having read the history of the Douglas Bomford Trust the work that they do is incredible and extremely inspiring. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to meet with such a knowledgeable group as the trustees.

Thank you to the Douglas Bomford Trust to choosing to take their bi-annual meeting at the Riseholme campus and give students and researchers a chance to meet and talk with them. The Board of Trustees has a huge wealth of experience and hearing their perspective on the sector and its future challenges was extremely interesting.

If you want to find out more information on the research and outreach being done within AgriFoRwArdS, L-CAS, or LAR please visit the respective websites. To find out more about the Douglas Bomford Trust and the vast array of funding opportunities please visit


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