Farm entrepreneur to travel on scholarship

Carlos Bagrie and Nadia Lim celebrate at Parliament on Tuesday night. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Carlos Bagrie and Nadia Lim celebrate at Parliament on Tuesday night. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Arrowtown food and farming entrepreneur Carlos Bagrie has been awarded a scholarship in global agriculture, which will allow him to travel the world to see how others are plying their trade.

The 2024 Nuffield Farming scholarship was presented to Mr Bagrie and three fellow scholars at Parliament on Tuesday night by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

The Nuffield Scholarship is a scholarship awarded to leaders and innovators in the New Zealand primary sector.

Mr Bagrie - who co-founded retail food business My Food Bag and now owns Royalburn Station, near Arrowtown, with wife Nadia Lim - was one of only four recipients chosen for the elite scholarship after a rigorous selection process.

"It’s very humbling to have been selected for this life-changing opportunity," he said.

"The Nuffield scholarship is synonymous with some of the best agricultural leaders and innovators in the world, and I’m excited to learn more about the most up-to-date and efficient farming practices and systems, particularly in the regenerative and ethical food production space."

As part of the coveted programme, Mr Bagrie will travel around the world for 18 weeks next year, including an international scholars’ conference in Brazil in March.

This is followed by a five-week tour that covers four continents, exploring the various agricultural contexts, practices, strengths and challenges.

Rural Leaders chief executive officer and Nuffield Scholarship selection panellist Lisa Rogers said the Nuffield scholarship was an international farming programme that drove insight and foresight to keep New Zealand at the forefront of food and fibre.

"Carlos was selected for the scholarship as a hands-on farmer who is part of a new breed of operators with high entrepreneurial leadership skills, and as someone who demonstrates constant adaptability and innovation in his farming practices," she said.

Nuffield scholars select an area of interest and are granted all-expenses-paid travel to countries of their choice.

Fifth-generation farmer Mr Bagrie said he hoped to visit China, the United States, the Netherlands and Germany to research large-scale, direct-to-market food production and zero-waste circular farming.

Royalburn Station is a diverse farm-to-plate operation specialising in ethical and regenerative farming to produce food on a large scale.

Royalburn says it is renowned for its pasture-raised eggs and award-winning lamb, as well as beer, honey, vegetables, oils, seeds and grains.

"The timing couldn’t be better for us at Royalburn," Mr Bagrie said.

"There will no doubt be ideas and initiatives that we can bring back to NZ, integrate them into Royalburn and share that knowledge and experience with other farmers throughout NZ.

"I’m particularly interested in zero-waste circular systems and maximising those systems to reduce costs, and a focus on more consumer-led farming."


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