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Ballance invests in future science talent

5 March 2014

Ballance invests in future science talent

Five university students studying towards a degree in New Zealand’s vibrant primary industry have been awarded Ballance Agri-Nutrients scholarships.

Each scholarship is worth $4000 a year and can be held for a maximum of three years. Scholarships are open to family members of Ballance shareholders or shareholders of an entity (and beneficiaries of that shareholding) with shares in Ballance, as well as family members of company employees.

Warwick Catto, Research and Development Manager at Ballance Agri-Nutrients, says the calibre of this year’s applicants were again of a very high standard and shows that the industry’s future is in safe hands.

“Our primary sector leads the world and we need to continue to attract top talent to keep us there. We have some outstanding young people ready to make their mark and we’re right behind them,” says Warwick.

The latest round of scholarships were awarded to Sarah Greenwood from Ohakune, Ryan Hathaway from Reporoa, Holly Flay from Te Awamutu, Peter Thomas from Mossburn, and Matthew Hughes from Rotorua.

Ballance has now awarded over 60 scholarships since it started the programme.

Profiles on each scholarship recipient:

Sarah Greenwood from Ohakune is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University this year.

Once she completes her studies Sarah hopes to continue in the agricultural sector by either conducting research or becoming a consultant focusing on the sheep and beef sector.

“Short term research or a role as a consultant interests me. However my long term goal is to become a leader in the industry through either management or farm ownership.”

Sarah gained her passion for agriculture after spending her school holidays working on the family farm. This also saw her involved in Fielding High School’s Teen Ag Club as vice chair and she was part of the team that placed second at the Teen Ag nationals which is a young farming competition.

Ryan Hathaway from Reporoa is into his second year of studying a Bachelor of Chemical and Biological Processing Engineering (Honours) at Massey University.

Head boy of Reporoa College in 2012 Ryan already has strong experience working during his holidays on a sheep farm and a relief milker on several dairy farms in the local area.

After graduating Ryan hopes to use his engineering degree within the agricultural sector.

“My options are still very broad, although given my farming background I would definitely like to work within the agricultural arena.”

Aside from his academic achievements Ryan is an accomplished sportsman representing Bay of Plenty at rugby as well as Reporoa College at water polo and basketball.

Holly Flay from Te Awamutu has just started a Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry and minoring in International Agribusiness and Animal Science at Massey University.

Born and raised on a dairy farm, Holly’s aim is to use her farming experience and conjoint degrees to work in the dairy industry.

“I think my background of growing up on a dairy farm and my interest in animals and agriculture has really helped me gain a strong insight into the industry. I’d like to use my degree to pursue a career with the dairy industry focusing on research and development.”

Head student at Te Awamutu College in 2013 and a member of the Waipa District Youth Council, Holly is also a very keen sportsperson representing Te Awamutu college at netball, squash and skiing.

Peter Thomas, from Mossburn is passionate about the agricultural sector after growing up on a 5,000 acre sheep and beef farm which gave him strong understanding about the industry.

Now into his third year of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Massey University, Peter has recently been voted onto the committee of the Massey Young Farmers club, which has over 130 members nationwide.

While he would like to eventually own his own farm, once he completes his studies Peter is interested in working as a technical salesperson.

“I did particularly well in my soil science paper last year making this area a strong contender in the direction I will head after I finish my study.”

However long-term Peter would like to work towards one day owning his own sheep and beef farm.

Matthew Hughes, from Rotorua is into his second year of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Massey University.

Growing up on a sheep and beef farm and with experience of working on a dairy farm Matthew has a real desire to pursue a career in New Zealand’s primary sector. Once he graduates Matthew hopes to work in research and development for the beef and lamb industry.

“At the moment my key interests are in animal and soil science, and business and farm management. My degree gives me the opportunity to learn more about these different aspects and the other opportunities within the agricultural sector, which will help me define exactly what I want to work on when I finish it.”


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