The “mythology” of regenerative agriculture and lack of scientific evidence has prompted two renowned plant scientists to write to Ag Minister Damien O’Connor.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is supporting 23 tertiary students in their agriculture-related studies at Lincoln and Massey Universities and Telford and Taratahi training institutes.
B+LNZ chief executive, Dr Scott Champion says the scholarships have been part of Beef + Lamb’s investment in developing people for more than 10 years.
“It’s a very satisfying part of our organisation’s activity – supporting these young people as they achieve their educational milestones and go on to make a positive contribution to New Zealand’s sheep and beef industry.”
Last year B+LNZ co-funded the “People Powered” report, in conjunction with DairyNZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries. The report highlighted the need for greater investment in the future of primary industries workforce and confirmed the need for skilled and innovative farm managers who have a willingness to adopt new technologies.
“Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s continued investment in growing sector capability is a key part of our strategy for a confident and profitable sheep and beef industry,” says Champion.
While the majority of this year’s scholars come from a farming background, all of them have a different set of skills and interests, which they are keen to develop and apply to the primary sector.
Eldon Matthews’ interest in nutrient management and environmental mitigation is especially topical, given the prominence of the issue in many regions.
Studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) at Lincoln University with a focus on nutrient management, Matthews grew up on a fourth generation sheep and deer farm near Waikari in North Canterbury.
He says his passion for nutrient management came about through following the environmental and regulatory issues the Hurunui Water Project was facing.
This sparked an awareness of the need to balance environmental management with the challenge of meeting the government’s goal of doubling agricultural exports from $32b to $64b by 2025.
He says his degree will give him a sound knowledge base to launch a career combining technology, science and farm management practices.
“In five to 10 years’ time I see myself working with farmers and regulators to achieve environmental mitigation while increasing exports.
“It’s about finding a balance between these two objectives.”
Applications for the next Beef + Lamb New Zealand scholarship round will open on November 1.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand 2015 scholars
Allen Gregory from Southland (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Brenna Coleman from Dannevirke (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Cameron Hassall from Hawke’s Bay (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Dougal Ross from Tararua (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Eldon Matthews from North Canterbury (Bachelor of Commerce Agriculture)
Henry Buckingham from Southland (Bachelor of Commerce Agriculture)
Joshua McKay from Wairarapa (Bachelor of Commerce Agriculture)
Joel Hintz from Wairarapa (Bachelor Commerce Agriculture)
Kelsey Shaw from South Otago (Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture)
Lachlan Woods from Wanaka (Bachelor of Commerce Agriculture)
Matthew Ross from Hawke’s Bay (Diploma in Agriculture)
Robert Gregory from Otama, Southland (Bachelor of Commerce Agriculture)
Sophie Gaulter from Christchurch (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Tessa Williams from Tokomaru Bay (Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing)
Baeley Ravenwood from Wairarapa (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Courtney Mitchell from Manawatu (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Emily Maclean from Bombay Auckland (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Hannah Gibb from Manawatu (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Sam Malcolm from Whanganui (Bachelor of Commerce Agriculture)
Samuel Pike from Rangitikei (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Victoria Anstis from Whanganui (Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
Hemoata Kopa from Matawai, Bay of Islands (National Certificate in Sheep and Beef, Level 4)
John-Kurt Burnett from Whangarei (Diploma in Agriculture)