Talented youth given Ballance boost


Ballance Agri-Nutrients has awarded $60,000 in tertiary study scholarships to seven talented students who have set their sights on careers in the primary industries sector.

April 10, 2015

Talented youth given Ballance boost 

Ballance Agri-Nutrients has awarded $60,000 in tertiary study scholarships to seven talented students who have set their sights on careers in the primary industries sector.

This year’s scholarships bring the total awarded by the co-operative since 2002 to 71.

Warwick Catto Science Strategy Manager at Ballance Agri-Nutrients said it was fantastic to see high calibre students heading into agri-business, science and engineering tertiary education. 

“There were strong applicants this year, who all demonstrated a true passion for New Zealand’s primary industries sector and see many career opportunities in it. Students recognise that New Zealand is an exporting nation so they are combining disciplines such as marketing, engineering, agriculture and international business.

“While many students have an ambition to take over the family farm they know they need to gain a tertiary qualification. The primary industries sector has an extensive range of opportunities to offer young graduates. I look forward to seeing where they take the sector in the future,” he said.

Ballance handed out four scholarships each valued at $4,000 for up to three years and an additional three, one-year scholarships, each valued at $4,000.

Three-year scholarships were awarded to Timothy Craig from Oamaru, Angela Clarke from Te Awamutu, James Robertson from Ohaupo, Matthew Poole from Hawera.

One-year scholarships were awarded to Alex Menzies from Omakau, Paddy Ford from Patea and Chris Lowe from Pukekohe.

Ballance received 86 applications for the 2015 scholarship programme, up 11 from 75 last year.

Profiles on each scholarship recipient:

Three Year Scholarships

Timothy Craig from Oamaru, is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University this year.

Being Head Boy of Waitaki Boys High School has given Timothy the opportunity to develop his leadership skills while he has gained practical experience helping out on his family’s commercial poultry and cropping farms. His goal is to work in agri-business.

“I want to assist New Zealand companies in producing more food for the world’s growing population. I’m interested in horticulture and business aspects of our family farm and have an end goal of joining the family business.”

Angela Clarke from Te Awamutu is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University this year.

Angela gained her passion for agriculture growing up on the family dairy farm and was inspired to look at agri-science careers following a visit by a Ballance fertiliser representative.

“I have an interest in sports nutrition and a passion for animals so I want to combine these and work in animal nutrition and food quality to improve health and performance of livestock.”

Angela has excelled in sports such as rowing, hockey, netball and cycling.

James Robertson from Ohaupo, near Hamilton, is studying a Bachelor of AgriCommerce at Massey University this year. During his final year at Hamilton Boys’ High School, James completed an Economics paper from the University of Waikato.

“I see my future in the agriculture industry and would like to become a Ballance field representative.”

James grew up on a dairy farm and took his passion for farming to Hamilton Boys High School where he established the TeenAg Society Club. James has won young farming competitions including the TeenAg National Grand Final the TeenAg National Stock Judging Event.

Matthew Poole from Hawera is in his second year studying a Bachelor of Engineering, with honours, at the University of Canterbury. 

Matthew developed an interest in the engineering aspect of farm dairies, growing up on a dairy farm in Hawera. As an active member of New Zealand Young Farmers Matthew wants to merge his interest in farming with research and development to bring new products and solutions to the industry.

“My goal is to make dairy farming a more desirable career for my generation in order to sustain New Zealand’s globally successful dairy industry.”

One Year Scholarships

Alex Menzies, from Omakau in Central Otago is studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Land, Water and Environment at Lincoln University this year.

“Once I complete my degree I want to work with companies to market New Zealand agricultural products to international markets.”

Alex has a keen interest in hockey and has played at representative level for a number of years including having captained and vice-captained teams including U15’s, U18’s and Columba College 1st XI.

Paddy Ford, from Patea, South Taranaki is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Commerce this year.

Born and raised on a dairy farm, Paddy has spent his holidays working at home, being a relief milker for neighbouring farmers and spending time at his grandparent’s sheep and beef farm.

“I wish to work in the agriculture sector to help improve the use of fertilisers on dairy farms to become more sustainably whilst still being economical. I have a passion for this due to the increase in food production needed in the near future.”

Paddy is a keen sports person and rugby player.

Chris Lowe, from Pukekohe, is studying a bachelor of AgriScience majoring in Horticulture at Massey University this year.

Once he finishes his studies Chris wants to work in the viticulture sector and has a special interest in glass house technology. Chris’ passion comes from helping out on the family’s commercial onion farm and focus on playing hockey.

“I see the potential for more graduates to become involved in science in New Zealand and how we can look to become more efficient, productive and environmentally sustainable as we look to feed a growing global population.”

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