Dr Danny Donaghy is professor of dairy systems at Massey University and a specialist in pasture agronomy and physiology.
Head of Massey's school of Agriculture and Environment, Paul Kenyon says it's clear students have been disappointed at the cancellation of numerous physical activities they would normally do as part of their degrees.
He says to make up for it, staff have created equivalent online activities to ensure that the students have met their learning objective.
"Despite the best efforts, the online activities never fully replace hands-on activities," Kenyon told Rural News.
"The students have adapted and coped very well and, remember the modern student is very good at handling electronic media sources."
He says it was probably more of a challenge for staff to adapt their teaching to develop virtual field trips.
But Kenyon says the farms involved were very helpful in terms of providing a virtual alternative and the students seem to respond to that quite well.
Normally at this time of the year, Massey stages a special dinner to honour its top ag students, but this was also cancelled due to Covid. Kenyon says despite this the internal assessment results of this year's students was equivalent to last year.
The joint winners of the William Gerrish Memorial Awards for excellence in farm management were Chelsea Hopkins and Bruce Donald. Both come from farms in the Manawatu area.
Benjamin Crane received the Massey Agriculture Student of the Year Award.
This award is nominated by fellow students and is for the person considered to have made the best contribution to the well-being and reputation of students in the agricultural programmes.
The Zespri prize for excellence in horticulture was awarded to Bram Paans, who grew up on a mixed organic and conventional market garden enterprise in Wairarapa.