Meridian Energy national agribusiness manager Natasha King
has described her Nuffield scholarship trip as one of the
greatest experiences in her life. Photo supplied.
Turning effluent into electricity is one way Natasha King
hopes to help solve one of the major issues in New Zealand's
Ms King, who is Meridian Energy's national agribusiness
manager, has recently returned from a five-month Nuffield
Farming Scholarship trip overseas, during which she visited
She was the first person from the energy sector to win a
Nuffield scholarship and her aim was to research whether gas
and electricity could be generated as a solution to effluent
Enthused from her time away, Ms King said being able to solve
the problem of effluent waste would be ''fantastic''.
While unable to reveal details about the proposed solution at
this stage, the plan was to get trials under way on a
1000-cow unit in Canterbury.
She already has the support of high-profile businessman Sir
Stephen Tindall, who had heard about the project, contacted
her and asked what he could do to help, while she has had
ongoing support from Meridian Energy. Backing from farmers
and the industry was going to be required to make it work on
a national scale, she said.
Even if it ''doesn't work 100%'' and she only got halfway,
then there would be ''some other genius'' who would hopefully
help get it to fruition, she said.
Ms King, who took the journey of sharemilking through to farm
ownership before joining the corporate world, which
previously included working for Fonterra, described the
Nuffield trip as one of the ''greatest experiences'' of her
Anyone ever given the opportunity for such a scholarship
should ''grasp it with both hands and go for it''.
She visited a diverse range of countries - Canada, the United
States, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Finland,
Sweden, Ireland, England, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey,
Israel, Vietnam, Australia, India, Qatar, Thailand and France
- and saw a ''heck of a lot'' of quality technology that the
New Zealand agricultural industry could benefit from.
She met some ''fantastic'' farmers, while the quality of New
Zealand's apples, sheep meat and dairy industry was often
discussed, she said.
The Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust and Lincoln University
are combining their efforts to improve leadership capability
within the rural and primary sectors in New Zealand.
The two organisations have agreed to establish a rural
leadership consortium to manage two leadership programmes
that have operated in New Zealand since the late 1970s.
The two programmes will continue to operate distinctly and
maintain their existing brands and alumni networks, but will
be managed by a shared full-time general manager.
The Kellogg Rural Leaders Programme is owned and administered
by Lincoln University and the Nuffield Farming Scholarships
are owned and administered by the Nuffield Farming
More than 650 New Zealand alumni have completed the Kellogg
programme and there are about 150 Nuffield New Zealand