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She was one of five people to be awarded scholarships. In addition to extensive study and travel, each scholar completes a project, which looks at improving an aspect of primary sector production.
Mrs Stratford would focus on farm health and safety; how to make farms safer for people working on them and what could be learned from other industries.
She had also been looking forward to the four months of overseas travel, which was part of the scholarship. However, as Covid-19 border restrictions meant that could not go ahead, organisers were putting together an alternative travel itinerary.
"We will be doing a world tour of New Zealand and going from the top of North Island down to us [Southland] and covering the length and breadth of the country, looking at different industries and how they do things," she said.
The tour starts in February and includes scholars from last year who were also unable to travel because of Covid-19.
"It will be fascinating meeting alumni and seeing what they are doing. We will be spending a lot more time together so we can make stronger connections," she said.
A former London lawyer, Mrs Stratford met her future husband Chris while he was working in Britain. They married in 2002.
Several years later they moved to a 201ha dairy conversion at Curio Bay as managers and equity partners with four other couples, forming South Coast Dairy Ltd.
They have 420 cows and last season milked 190,000 kgMS, which was their best to date.
The couple have a son Callum (15) and daughter Olivia (13).
Mrs Stratford runs her own business, Primary People, which provides people management and development consultancy services in the primary sector.
She is also a DairyNZ dairy environment leader, and also belongs to the Southern Workforce Action Group.