Scholarships awarded to top students
Waikato Federated Farmers’ Charitable Trust and Charitable Society have awarded 11 scholarships to agricultural students to help fund their future studies.
It’s the first time the two groups have awarded such scholarships, which were presented to the Primary ITO students at a ceremony at the Federated Farmers Waikato building in Hamilton in November.
Agriculture depended on skilled people and people who had worked through levels 3 and 4 and had proven they had the desire to learn, Waikato Federated Farmers Charitable Society chairman John Blewett said.
‘‘The same skill set that you guys will learn at level 5 are the same skills that will get you through life.’’
Waikato Federated Farmers Charitable Trust chairman Lloyd Downing said attitude was everything when it came to personal development and the scholarship recipients would not be where they were without that quality.
‘‘If you have got the right attitude, you’ll do ok, but if you get education too, that’s another string to your bow because that usually gets you through the door, but it’s got to be attitude.’’
Funding the scholarships was exactly what the trust should be doing, he said.
The trust was set up 25 years ago by WFF from funding left over from the old cadet scheme to promote, educate and advance agriculture.
In the past, the trust had funded AgITO, but since that stopped, it had instead started giving out scholarships for Primary ITO’s level 5 courses, Blewett said.
Waikato Federated Farmers president Chris Lewis said he passed on the skills and attitudes he learned when he was studying to the seven staff on his Pukeatua dairy farm.
‘‘The lessons I learned there I keep reinforcing them to my current staff.’’
Included in the scholarships were awards for the best all round diploma student, won by Melissa Bryant and a second award for the student who wrote the best property report, won by Evan Billington. Both students received $1000 for their achievements.
Bryant said she was honoured to win the award after a difficult season as a sharemilker.
‘‘This has just made the year and it means so much that we can continue and grow and I just have a passion for the industry.’’
For Evan Billington, completing the qualification was a juggling act as he balanced daily farm work and family life. He came into dairy farming later in life and said it was important to get qualifications under his belt.
‘‘There were times like all of the students that I thought I had too much on my plate, but I’m really glad that I did it and I had some great tutors through the process.’’
The scholarship recipients were: Harrison Shield winner for the best property report, Evan Billington; best all-round diploma student, Melissa Bryant; agribusiness resource planning, Nicholas Coppard, Mike Garrud, Teresa McGovern, Olivia Wade; property report, Alan Syme; financial and tax planning, Brendan Hopson, Jan Winke; production management level 5, Richard Smyth, Daryll Sexton.
Waikato Federated Farmers president Chris Lewis presents Melissa Bryant with her award for the best all round agricultual diploma student for 2016.