2012 Scholarship Winners

Gavin Ralph

2012 Scholarship Winner

Gavin, from Morrinsville, is in his final year of study towards a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at The University of Auckland. His work experience includes relief milking for parents and neighbours during study breaks, as well as a fixed term position as an Environmental Dairy Liaison Assistant for DairyNZ and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. This work involved liaising with farmers on their properties, collecting data about their effluent system, analysing and modelling the data, writing a report summarising findings and recommending improvements and finally passing these reports back to the farmers.

"Ensuring that our dairy industry is sustainable is already a huge part of what we do, and it is only going to become more important as the pressure on our natural resources increases. It's not something that we can ignore, and I think my dairy farming background puts me in a good position to be able to develop solutions that are mutually beneficial to both industry and our natural resources."

Named a Dux in his final year of school at St John’s College in Hamilton, Gavin’s interests include running, soccer and tennis. He was also heavily involved in Scouts throughout his schooling, obtaining the highest award in Scouts – the Queen’s Scout Award.

Matthew Hansen

2012 Scholarship Winner

Matthew, a former St Peter's student in Cambridge, is backing up his practical relief milking and farming experience with a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) from Lincoln University commencing this year. Matthew has a keen interest in farming, and part owns 30 purebred Suffolk, Suffolk cross and Romney ewes and three stud R3 Hereford cows with calves that are registered with the Hereford Association. He has also raised several Hereford Friesian Cross calves over the last four years, growing them to at least 100 kg before reselling.

Playing representative hockey for Waikato, he has also been involved in coaching. Other sports interests include road cycling, running, swimming, mountain biking, hunting and scuba diving. Over the summer holidays Matthew is a Surf Life Guard at Pauanui Beach on the Coromandel.

"After completing my degree I would like to work in the agriculture industry as a fertiliser rep or rural bank manager. Eventually I would like to progress to a sharemilking position, and after paying off my cows, I would like to either progress to a large scale sharemilking position or begin farm ownership."

Peter West

2012 Scholarship Winner

Peter, from Te Awamutu, is completing an Honours Degree examining the vertical distribution of carbon storage under pastoral soils this year after finishing his Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences at Lincoln University.

"A relatively new and exciting area of research, this work has the potential to aid mitigation of the potential negative effects that agriculture can have on our environment, while ensuring the productivity and profitability of farmers remains high. Finding solutions to such issues will aid in ensuring the competiveness and sustainability of the New Zealand dairy industry."

A former DairyNZ scholarship recipient, Peter has gained work experience on dairy farms in both the Waikato and Canterbury regions, with work involving pasture management, milking, supplement feeding, weed control, tractor work, calf rearing, animal welfare and feed budgeting components.

His sporting achievements include playing representative cricket for the New Zealand under-19 team, and his interests extend to rugby, athletics and cross country. He is a member of the New Zealand Royal Forest and Bird Society and has been involved in voluntary community projects such as the Maungatautari Ecological Island.

Samuel Anderson

2012 Scholarship Winner

Samuel, from Riverton, commences a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences at Lincoln University this year. The former Southland Boys High School student has had extensive experience working on the family sheep farm as well as neighbouring dairy and sheep farms and aims to use the knowledge gained by completing his degree to work in the soil science field, and has a long-term goal to own his own farm.

"I see agriculture has a great importance in New Zealand and in the future will need to be more productive, efficient and environmentally sustainable."

A keen sportsperson, Samuel has played club rugby, has represented his school at South Island athletics and is a keen hunter. Through his involvement with Boys' Brigade he has completed a National Leadership Development course and was awarded the highest award in Boys' Brigade, the Queen's Badge. He also assists the local Lions Club with their shearing fundraiser.

Scott Cameron

2012 Scholarship Winner

Scott is in his third year of a Bachelor of Agri-Sciences from Massey University. From a dairy farm in Hawera, Scott has worked on the family farm, as well as the local DairyNZ research farm during summer holidays as an assistant research technician assisting with the physical labour of the trials including biopsies, blood samples from the tail, rumen samples, feed conversion efficiency trials, dry matter sampling of silage, grass, maize or grain and seed trials.

A former Francis Douglas Memorial College student, Scott is an active person, participating in water skiing at a national level and playing premier rugby league. In 2009, he gained a finalist placing in the Ronald Hugh Morrison Literary award, achieving Honours in his Speech New Zealand exams. In the short term Scott hopes to secure employment where he can specialise in research and development in order to improve the output and productivity within the agriculture sector.

"I would like to utilise my knowledge in an advisory capacity, supporting and enhancing farmers in their endeavours to increase their own productivity and to upskill their personal knowledge base."

Thomas Yule

2012 Scholarship Winner

Thomas is in his second year of a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Agricultural Management) at Lincoln University. From Hastings, Thomas is a former head prefect of Lindisfarne College. He has played representative hockey for Hawke’s Bay, enjoys rugby and tennis and is an accomplished bagpipe player.

Over the last 10 years Thomas has spent a lot of time working on the family farm during school holidays. In 2007 he gained a heavy traffic licence and has spent time working for a range of agricultural contractors, including travel to America to take part in the annual 2000 mile grain harvest where he operated a combine harvester for eight months.

"Once gaining a better understanding of the rural supply sector eventually I plan to return to the family farm with my ultimate goal being to supply to my own supermarket alongside other local producers. With food supply relating to sustainability becoming a bigger issue globally I see this as a very exciting career goal to aim towards. With demand for food continuing to increase globally and limiting resources restricting our supply I see many opportunities in this sector."

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