Student selected for scholarship

Lincoln University student Laura Heads, of Waimumu, has been awarded a $5000 On Farm Support...
Lincoln University student Laura Heads, of Waimumu, has been awarded a $5000 On Farm Support science scholarship. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Southland agriculture student Laura Heads is "shocked" to be among the recipients of primary sector scholarships awarded by the government.

Six university students studying agriculture and science, including Miss Heads, have been awarded a $5000 On Farm Support science scholarship from the Ministry for Primary Industries for this year’s study.

Miss Heads, 19, of Waimumu near Gore, is in her second year studying a bachelor of agricultural science degree at Lincoln University.

The funds would be spent on course fees, she said.

After university, she planned to secure work as a field representative in the South.

Her dream was to own a sheep and beef farm.

She was born and raised on a sheep farm in Waimumu and was passionate about farming.

The appeal of farming was its peaceful nature and working in the fresh air.

"It is so calming being out on the farm," she said.

Her community involvement included being a member of Young Farmers in Gore and Lincoln and a member of the Gore Youth Council while at secondary school.

Minister of Agriculture Todd McClay said the government was backing a range of initiatives to grow the capacity and capability of the primary industry advisory sector, which was vital to supporting farmers to adapt, change and thrive.

"Agriculture is the backbone of our economy," he said.

Revenue from food and fibre sector exports was forecast to generate $54.3billion in the year to June 30.

Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard said 43 applications were received for the On Farm Support science scholarships.

"It’s truly heartening to see both the number and calibre of applicants who applied for these scholarships.

"It is the first time they have been offered," Mr Hoggard said.

"The six successful scholarship recipients have a passion for food and fibre production and a genuine interest in joining the primary industries advisory sector.

"The coalition government wants to ensure we make farming an attractive career option for young people again.

"Farmers and growers have had to navigate challenging conditions in recent years and the advisory sector plays an important role in supporting their success."


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