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The Lincoln University student has won this year’s Ravensdown Hugh Williams Memorial Scholarship to assist with her studies towards an agricultural science degree.
Ms Wilson was introduced to the farming lifestyle as a baby, when her father took her mustering in a baby carrier, and later her family settled on a sheep and beef farm at Gisborne.
‘‘I just love the lifestyle. I couldn’t work in an office. I couldn’t work in any other industry.
‘‘I just love the mustering and working with the dogs and the horses and the animals. I have had a passion for it all my life.’’
‘‘Honestly, I was. I applied last year, but I was too young. So I applied again, but I didn’t think my phone interview went very well.’’
But Ms Wilson had already done some work with Ravensdown through the Gateway programme at school and her ‘‘commitment to the agricultural sector, academic achievements, innovative thinking and passion shone through’’, Ravensdown said.
Ms Wilson enjoyed the diversity of the bachelor of agricultural science degree and developed a passion for soil and plant health for animal nutrition and production at university last year.
She said she learned about the importance of preventing soil erosion, seed genetics and turning unproductive land into productive land.
‘‘One of the things that my studies have taught me is just how important soil quality is to farming in New Zealand.
‘‘If we are going to keep growing food for the next 100 years we must make sure our soil quality is maintained.
‘‘Making improvements to our country’s soil while preventing degradation and erosion has to be a top priority.’’
Moving to the South Island for her studies has allowed Ms Wilson to pursue her passion for hockey.
She represented the Central region at the nationals at age-group level and, since coming south to Lincoln, has been playing premier grade hockey in Christchurch.
But she missed her horses, the mustering and competing in showjumping.
She had been home but was back in Lincoln working on a dairy farm to build up her practical experience required for her degree, before university resumed.
When she completed her degree, Ms Wilson hoped to work in research and development, but her ultimate goal was to return to the family farm.
-By David Hill