Wednesday, 20 October 2021 14:55

Honours student wins Ag scholarship

Written by  Jessica Marshall
Lincoln University honours student and Perrin Ag scholarship winner Penny Chapman. Lincoln University honours student and Perrin Ag scholarship winner Penny Chapman.

Penny Chapman, a Lincoln University honours student, is the recipient of the Perrin Ag scholarship.

“I’m very grateful to have it, it feels very cool to be the one awarded it,” Chapman says of receiving the scholarship.

The scholarship will go towards her honours study which looks at the profitability and environmental performance of three different dairy farm systems operating in Canterbury using Farmax and Overseer models.

Chapman believes the biggest issue facing farmers is maintaining profit and passion with their farm business, while facing ongoing pressures from the Government and the public as well as environmental pressures.

“Profitability is the bottom line of any business and for farmers this is becoming more difficult as they have to adjust farm systems to meet regional rules and regulations.

“But through innovation and education, I believe these challenges can be met,” she says.

“It might seem daunting at the moment in terms of the Government and public pressure but there are huge opportunities out there to change or alter farm systems to make environmental rules and farm more sustainably.”

Chapman grew up on her family’s farm which she says has influenced her passion for agriculture.

“I have grown up on a farm and have been surrounded by a lot of family who are all passionate about the agricultural industry, so I guess that’s definitely helped develop my passion for farming, especially seeing my dad and his love for the land and what he does on our own farm,” she told Rural News.

Her family’s farm winters 800 dairy cows and has started to use crops – including barley and peas – grown on-farm as supplementary feed for the cows.

“It’s just about using our home farm system as a crop farm and working it,” Chapman says, adding that they are consistently looking at “how we can tie that as best possible to our dairy farm operation”.

“So, it’s about maximising both systems to get the optimal outcome,” she says.

The Perrin Ag scholarship is valued at $3,000 and will go towards Chapman’s final year of study for her Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours at Lincoln University.

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