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Seven To Receive Ballance Scholarships

8 February, 2005

Seven To Receive Ballance Scholarships

Seven top students were awarded 2005 Ballance Agri-Nutrients scholarships worth $4000 a year.

Head of Agro-Sciences Warwick Catto administers the scholarships and says recipients must be more than strong academics to be successful.

“We are looking for individuals who are certainly high performers academically but also pursue other interests such as cultural activities, or sport and have a keen sense of commitment to New Zealand’s primary industries. We see these scholarships as an investment in the primary industries through supporting the development of young talent, and assisting them to end their studies without significant debt.

“I am pleased with the quality of the applicants this year, which is reflected in the seven people we have selected. Each recipient has a great future ahead of them, and will be a real asset to New Zealand’s primary industries.”

Immediate family members of Ballance shareholders and employees who are undertaking tertiary study in the primary or related industries can apply for a scholarship. The range of study topics for the current scholarship recipients includes agriculture, engineering, horticulture, veterinary science and agribusiness.

Each scholarship is worth $4000 a year, and can be held for a maximum of three years. Ballance is already supporting six students through scholarships awarded in previous years, and with this year’s seven recipients, the cooperative is investing more than $50,000 for 2005.

Ballance scholarship recipients for 2005 are:

Megan Birchall, Rotorua: studying for a Bachelor in Applied Science (Agriculture) at Massey University, Palmerston North. Megan is hoping for a future as a farm advisor after her three-year degree. This scholarship will enable her to avoid a student loan, and hopefully assist when applying for summer work. Megan, a past Youth Councillor, is looking forward to becoming involved in various student committees and taking part in social netball and touch rugby.

Matthew Greenbank, Te Kauwhata: studying for a Bachelor in Applied Science, majoring in horticulture. Matthew is the first horticulture student to receive a Ballance scholarship. Matthew left Te Kauwhata College to pursue a Waikato Polytechnic certificate in horticulture through a previous scholarship, and decided to advance his knowledge at Massey University in Palmerston North. He is in his last year of the degree. He has gained considerable industry experience at a range of different horticultural jobs over the past summers, and is hoping for a Production Manager’s position but may first pursue his Honours or post-graduate studies. His outdoor pursuits include fishing and snow skiing.

William Kelton, Hamilton: studying for a Chemical and Process Engineering Degree at Canterbury University. William was runner-up dux at St Paul’s Collegiate for 2003 and as a result of his grades, was advanced immediately into the second year of the four-year degree. He is considering pursuing a Masters in Engineering Management after his degree. William is interested in the dairy industry and anticipates gaining experience in hands-on practical work before working toward a management role. This scholarship will reduce William’s need for a student loan.

Christine Lindsay, Winton, Southland: studying for a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture at Massey University, Palmerston North and has completed two years of her three-year degree. Once studies are complete, Christine will seek work in sales or consulting. Long term, Christine hopes to breed a stud of white Romneys. Christine is involved in the Young Farmer Club and this year is vice-president. She is also a trained highland dance teacher and judge and her skill will see her participating in the 2005 Edinburgh Tattoo at Edinburgh in August.

Brent Oliver, Masterton: studying for a double degree in Agricultural Science and Business majoring in Agribusiness at Massey University, Palmerston North. Brent was dux of Makoura College and is in the final year of his four-year programme. He anticipates going into farm management consulting initially, with a long-term goal of owning a farm. Brent’s outdoor pursuits include hunting, surfing, diving, and playing volleyball and squash. His scholarship will cover fees, while summer work will provide for daily needs.

Jim Stevenson, Outram, Otago: studying for a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture at Lincoln University, Christchurch and has completed one year of his three-year degree. He is interested in farm finance and one day hopes to own a sheep and beef farm. He is also a keen sportsman and captained the First XV rugby team at John McGlashan College. During summer breaks Jim is gaining experience in different aspects of the agricultural industry.

Fritha Witton, Reporoa: studying Veterinary Science at Massey University, Palmerston North campus. Fritha plans to work with farm animals on completion of her five-year degree. Fritha is a keen sportsperson, and has played for the BOP Under 19 netball team as well as for Reporoa College. In 2004, Fritha was recognised as Rotorua Young Achiever, ASB/BOP Netball Sportsperson of the Month in May, and a finalist in the BOP Netball Secondary School Player of the Year Award.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients is a 100 per cent farmer-owned fertiliser co-operative with a nationwide distribution network. It is New Zealand’s leading fertiliser specialist with a philosophy of partnering with farmers in order to develop and maintain sustainable nutrient practices. Its investment and joint venture approach to research and development has yielded world-leading results in the areas of biological control of pests under its bioshield brand. It has run the scholarship programme since 2002 and is seen as another form of investment into the development of a thriving New Zealand agricultural industry.


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