First new scholars for Silver Fern Farms scholarships

Left to right are: Zac Johnston, Hugh Jackson, Nicole Harvey, Grace Van Tilborg, Josh Kirk, Jake Jarman and Rob Hewett, co-chair of Silver Fern Farms. They are pictured at the Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Conference 2017, held at the Early Settlers Museum in Dunedin.

Silver Fern Farms has awarded six Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships to an exciting group of young people from around New Zealand who are developing their careers in the red meat, food and farming industries.

Silver Fern Farms chief executive Dean Hamilton says the talent emerging from the scholarship applications indicates a bright future for the broader red meat sector.

“We were overwhelmed at receiving 79 applications. The standard and passion from the applicants exceeded all expectations when we launched the Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships. Our panel certainly had a challenging job making their selections and we extend our thanks to all of the young people that took the time to apply and to the co-operative shareholders who supported their applications,” he says.

“Silver Fern Farms is proud to be supporting the future of farming and the communities where we live and work.”

The scholarship recipients each receive $5,000 to further their careers in the sector. The Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships have been awarded to people in the following regions:

  • Grace Van Tilborg – Northland
  • Hugh Jackson – Waikato and Bay of Plenty
  • Jake Jarman – Western North Island
  • Nicole Harvey – Eastern North Island
  • Joshua Kirk – Upper South Island
  • Zac Johnston – Lower South Island

As part of the process, applicants were asked to identify what they see as the biggest challenge or opportunity in the food industry and what they would do about it.

“The winners delivered ideas on a vast range of industry issues. These included a fresh look at dealing with biosecurity challenges, the development of food technology processes to extend the shelf-life and flavour of red meat, exploring ways to sustainably add value to farming businesses, selling the story of New Zealand’s natural ‘artisan agriculture’ to the world, as well as challenging the industry to think big and be bold,” says Hamilton.

“By 2020 we aim to have invested $120,000 in scholarships to support 24 young people in their careers in our industry from plate to pasture.”

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