Agri-food scholar to do global tour
Kate Scott is a busy woman. It’s about to get a lot busier.
The 37-year-old Bannockburn mother of three young children, executive director of Cromwellbased Landpro Ltd and water catchment group project manager is about to embark on a 12-month research programme after winning a Nuffield Scholarship.
The scholarship is awarded up to five people annually who are identified as future leaders in the agri-food sector.
During the course of the programme, Scott will travel to the Netherlands in March to attend a contemporary scholars conference, undertake a six-week tour with a group of international scholars travelling to five or six countries, visiting three to four continents, and complete an individual research programme which includes up to 10 weeks travel.
Scott said her research would involve looking at ways for agriculture in New Zealand to improve its environmental output and looking at the combination of technology and policy to help achieve that.
‘‘As part of that, it will involve taking a step back and looking at where New Zealand is at from an environmental point of view compared with other agricultural nations and looking at where New Zealand is at.
‘‘How far do we have to go? What is the plan to getting to the point where we are actually environmentally sustainable in terms of producing our food?’’
Her research was linked to her job at Landpro - a planning and surveying company she jointly founded in 2007.
‘‘I guess as a resource management planner I am using rules and plans and seeing the changes that councils are trying to make and seeing in some instances they are not working particularly well.
‘‘The methods they are trying to impose - is there a better way that is going to get a good outcome?
‘‘I hope in the future we can come up with a better methodology or some better tools and policies we can look to apply that gets a better outcome.’’
Before starting her company, she and her husband Scott Levings were managing a 200ha dairy farm at Roxburgh where both were involved in the day to day operation of the farm.
Kate was passionate about the primary industries and the environment, and worked across a broad range of sectors, including dairy, sheep and beef, horticulture and viticulture.
Kate also had extensive irrigation experience, including as the project manager for the Manuherikia Catchment.
‘‘I was pretty excited to get the scholarship. When you start to think about it, it gets a little daunting. I have got the next 12 months of study then it will involve about five months of travel.
‘‘I hope to take my family along for the self-study component ... There are some advantages of being able to get away from your own business. I’ll still be around and involved but I’ll just take some time out.’’
Nuffield Scholarships have been awarded to more than 140 emerging leaders in New Zealand over the past 60 years.
Nuffield Scholars come from a wide range of backgrounds from practical hands-on farming across agriculture and horticulture through to policy advisors and agribusiness managers.
They all have a close affiliation with practical agriculture and a passion and desire to help shape and lead the future of their industry.
British industrialist and philanthropist William Morris, later Lord Nuffield, initiated the travelling scholarship scheme for British and Empire farmers in the aftermath of World War II to recognise their contribution to feeding the nation through the war and as a method of advancing best practice in agriculture around the world.
The first two selected in 1947.
Today, seven countries participate in the scheme. scholars were