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2007 Nuffield Scholars Announced

New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust

16 October 2006

2007 Nuffield Scholars Announced

The New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust is pleased to announce that the 2007 scholars are Les Keeper, Jane Mitchell and Steven Sterne.

Nuffield Farming Scholarships promote leadership and innovative practices in agriculture through worldwide study and networking. The highly sought after scholarships also give an opportunity to develop a better understanding of New Zealand and international relationships by studying farming, marketing or organisational practices.

Les Keeper is the managing director of a large scale dairy operation in Southland. Les’s study topic will examine ‘dairy value added consumer business - changes to share and investment structures’. He plans to use his scholarship to research a value-added strategy for Fonterra from a farming shareholder’s understanding.

Jane Mitchell manages a sheep, beef and deer property in Central Otago. Jane will study how New Zealand can take a positive approach to the increasing pressure on farms to operate in an environmentally sensitive manner. She wants to examine overseas markets and identify the opportunities and threats for New Zealand.

Steven Sterne operates an outdoor pig farm in North Canterbury. Steven will research the type of marketing model best suited to maximising profits for farms on the size and scale of his pig farm. Steven’s objective is to explore the most efficient method of converting pork into value added products ready for sale in New Zealand and offshore markets.

“The quality of candidates for the scholarships was high, and it was difficult to narrow the selection down. The successful candidates’ strong commitment to their industry impressed the selection panel,” said Nuffield chairman Stuart Wright.

“I am sure that the scholarships will help the winners develop their leadership skills and networks," said Mr Wright.


Nuffield farming scholarships are funded by Dairy InSight, Meat & Wool New Zealand, the Mackenzie Charitable Foundation, Rabobank, FMG, Landcorp, HB Williams Turanga Trust and Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

Nuffield Farming Scholarships have been offered to over 100 innovative New Zealand farmers over the past 50 years.

Nuffield scholars from all over the world meet in Europe at the beginning of the scholarship for briefings and supported tours. New Zealand scholars then continue their own travel and study, with support from the United Kingdom Nuffield Trust. A North American tour is also offered.

Scholars return with new knowledge and wide contacts and many have become prominent in the farming community and in other walks of New Zealand life. They have been represented in government, on agricultural producer boards, in major cooperatives, and in agricultural organisations, as well as taking leading roles within their communities. All have made significant contributions to the development of rural New Zealand.

For more information on Nuffield visit


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