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Smart students set to grow New Zealand

Monday, October 13, 2008

Smart students set to grow New Zealand

The next generation of farming leaders celebrated success on Friday, at the annual Massey Agriculture awards.

Director of Massey Agriculture Professor Jacqueline Rowarth says the end of year dinner is a significant step for final-year students about to graduate and enter the next stage of their lives.

“Agriculture – managing the environment to produce food – is protection and production, and it’s complicated. Massey Agriculture is focused on working with keen and motivated students to prepare them for a great future in New Zealand’s most important industry. Through mentoring and coaching we find the areas in which each student can flourish – and we show that we value their achievements.”

Most awards were based on academic performance, but the popular Massey Agriculture student of the year award recognises contribution to student welfare, social or recreational activity, sport, or other activity that contributes to the well-being of students in the applied sciences.

Professor Robert Anderson, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Sciences said that this year nominations had been made by staff and students, and the recipient was Joshua Dear.

“He has shown a dedication to his fellow students that has gone beyond the norm, not only this year but throughout his time at Massey.

“Joshua developed a strong interest in agriculture from an early age, no doubt as a result of having grown up in the Taihape district. He is absolutely committed to a career in agriculture and is interested and experienced in both the dairy and sheep and beef industries, so the agriculture major of the Bachelor of Applied Science was a natural choice.”

Mr Dear is a final-year student, whose family now live in Dannevirke. He had shown considerable leadership skill, Professor Anderson said.

“He was captain of the Massey University Colts team in 2006, a regular player for the Massey Agriculture XV. He academic record is exemplary, consistently achieving high grades. He has also received numerous scholarships. In 2007 he received the Grasslands Trust Levy scholarship, the Hawke’s Bay Farm Improvement Club Trust scholarship and the Rongotea Lions Club Student Assistance Award. In 2008 he received the Ingleby Scholarship and the Harwood Farm Trust Scholarship. He also received Meat & Wool undergraduate scholarships in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

“While agriculture and rugby are traditional interests, Mr Dear also enjoys hunting, fishing, water-polo, indoor netball and Young Farmers. “

The William Gerrish Memorial Award was presented to Fiona Turner, a Bachelor of Accounting graduate who is completing a Graduate Diploma in Rural Studies. Mrs Turner is based in Palmerston North.

Professor Anderson said Mrs Turner had excelled in the farm management papers and been an active contributor to discussion and debate both in class and with case study farmers.

“She has consistently demonstrated intellectual curiosity and often has exceeded the requirements of an assignment in the pursuit of knowledge. She has a passion for farming and a desire to make a difference by working with farmers to help them improve their business skills and achieve their goals. Once a farmer, she has come back to farm management through these papers; they will enable her now to fulfil her dream of becoming a specialist farm accountant. Her contribution to New Zealand farm management has only just begun; it is likely to be considerable.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Palmerston North) Professor Ian Warrington presented the new Massey horticulture prize to Adam Goldwater.

“Massey University is proud to support the future leaders of the production horticulture industry. Massey invests in industry-related research, and enthusiastic and highly qualified lecturing staff to ensure that production horticulture has leading edge ideas that are then turned into best practice. And we have excellent students.”

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Director-General Murray Sherwin was unable to attend the awards but passed on his congratulations to Massey Agriculture.

“This has been a big year for you and a big year for agriculture and applied sciences generally in New Zealand. I really enjoy the energy and buzz we are seeing from Massey in this field.

“We have seen renewed recognition of the importance of the skills and disciplines you have been developing at Massey. That recognition has been obvious within New Zealand, at the level of our sector leaders, the wider community and within our politicians. It has also been an emerging theme internationally as the need to renew efforts to boost productivity in our food systems is now firmly back on the highest political agendas.”

Top-level German equestrian and third-year Bachelor of Applied Science student Maren Domke was awarded the Equine student of the Year award for the second year. Dr Chris Rogers of Massey Equine says Maren has consistently achieved high marks across the equine major papers throughout her degree.

“The equine studies degree will be Maren’s second equine qualification as she is already a recognised German National Dressage Federation instructor. Maren is an excellent example of a student able to balance the demands of her university study, participation in equestrian sport and development of her interest in barefoot hoof trimming.”

Recipients of the 2008 Massey Agriculture Awards:

Applied sciences and sciences practicum award: Sam Berry (Tauranga)) at 100-level, Adam Goldwater (Auckland) at 200-level.

The New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management Award for excellence in farm management: Sophie Stanley (Taupo).

New Zealand Institute of Agricultrual amd Horticultural Sciences Leading Student Award: Sarah Jayne Vincent (Christchurch).

William Gerrish Memorial Award for outstanding performance in farm management: Fiona Turner (Palmerston North).

Massey Equine Student of the Year, to the most proficient student within the equine major of the Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree: Maren Domke.

Massey Agriculture Horticulture student prize: Adam Goldwater.

Massey Agriculture & Applied Sciences student of the year, for an applied science student judged to have made the largest contribution to the well-being and reputation of their fellow students: Joshua Dear (Dannevirke).

The Massey Agriculture student of the year award was established in 1992 by the Pro Vice-Chancellor for the College of Sciences Professor Robert Anderson.


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