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Beef + Lamb New Zealand Scholars

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Scholars Part of Agriculture’s Future

They are young, bright and are the future of New Zealand’s sheep and beef sector.

This year Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is supporting 23 tertiary students in their agriculture-related studies at Lincoln and Massey Universities and Telford and Taratahi training institutes.

B+LNZ chief executive, Dr Scott Champion says the scholarships have been part of Beef + Lamb’s investment in developing people for more than 10 years.

“It’s a very satisfying part of our organisation’s activity – supporting these young people as they achieve their educational milestones and go on to make a positive contribution to New Zealand’s sheep and beef industry.”

Last year B+LNZ co-funded the “People Powered” report, in conjunction with DairyNZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries. The report forecasts the future workforce needs of the primary industries and confirms the need for skilled and innovative farm managers who have a willingness to adopt new technologies. “Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s continued investment in growing sector capability is a key part of our strategy for a confident and profitable sheep and beef industry, Dr Champion said.

While the majority of this year’s scholars come from a farming background, all of them have a different set of skills and interests which they are keen to develop and apply to this country’s primary sector.

Eldon Matthews’ interest in nutrient management and environmental mitigation is especially topical, given the prominence of the issue in many regions.

Studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) at Lincoln University with a focus on nutrient management, Eldon grew up on a fourth generation sheep and deer farm near Waikari in North Canterbury.

He says his passion for nutrient management came about through following the environmental and regulatory issues the Hurunui Water Project was facing.

This sparked an awareness of the need to balance environmental management with the challenge of meeting the government’s goal of doubling agricultural exports from $32b to $64b by 2025.

He says his degree will give him a sound knowledge base to launch a career combining technology, science and farm management practices.

“In five to 10 years’ time I see myself working with farmers and regulators to achieve environmental mitigation while increasing exports.

“It’s about finding a balance between these two objectives.”

Applications for the next Beef + Lamb New Zealand scholarship round will open on 1 November.

ENDS

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