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Napier student’s passion for outdoors recognised

Born and bred in Napier, Agri-commerce student, Geoffrey Berntsen was awarded a $2,500 scholarship from Agcarm. The 20-year-old says his interest in the primary industries derives from a love of the outdoors.

In the third year of his degree at Massey University, Berntsen says he enjoys the variety of his studies – from taxation to soil – which he hopes will see him working in finance for the primary industries. His end goal is to work with firms that diversify and add value to our exports, before owning his own business.

Having worked on dairy, as well as beef and lamb farms, Berntsen had the opportunity to gain a practical knowledge of the agricultural sector and an understanding of the challenges faced by farmers.

Berntsen’s success extends to his outdoor pursuits of fly-fishing, snowboarding and photography. Among his accomplishments is being selected as one of two New Zealanders to represent the country in a Colorado fly-fishing competition. He also coaches the NZ Youth Fly-fishing team – imparting his knowledge with 12 to 15 year-olds, and is a local club mentor.

The high-achiever was also awarded the Premier Scholar Award in 2016 - regarded as the most prestigious secondary school award in the country. As one of the top 10 academic students in the country, he was awarded an Outstanding Scholarship in Agriculture and Horticultural Science, Accounting, Geography, and Economics.

Agcarm chief executive Mark Ross says the association is pleased to help such a determined and hard-working student.

“We were impressed with his work ethic and commitment to farming and horticulture,” says Ross.

“We need people like Geoffrey to drive New Zealand’s agricultural industry, especially when faced with new challenges associated with disruptive technologies, such as lab grown food substitutes.”

Agcarm has two scholarships to support education and raise awareness about careers in Agcarm-related industries. The winner of the veterinary science scholarship is Georgina Martin.

Industry initiatives led by Agcarm include providing safe and sustainable animal health and crop protection technology for the future of New Zealand, and educating the community about the industry’s contribution.

ENDS

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