Scholarship winner hopes for red meat industry
Born and raised on a farm, a young Tararua woman can’t wait to help farmers take their red meat products to the world.
Molly Donald, 18, has received one of six Silver Fern Farmers Plate to Pasture youth scholarships for emerging leaders in the red meat industry.
The first-year Lincoln University student was awarded $5000 to put towards her degree in agribusiness and food marketing, at a ceremony in Wellington this month.
Growing up on her parents’ sheep and beef farm in Dannevirke was integral to her decision take up a career in the farming sector.
She and her two sisters were always out in the paddocks helping her parents drench, tail and herd the animals, so taking that next step into marketing the herefords she helped raised was a no-brainer. ‘‘My aspiration is to market New Zealand’s red meat products into the premium markets overseas. I want to be able to help farmers get the most for their product.’’ Red meat was second to none, Donald said, and with the shift towards plant-based diets it was imperative the benefits of red meat were highlighted in the marketplace. ‘‘What people need is completely provided for by the meat.
‘‘With changing diets and food trends we have to get quite crafty at getting that premium product out there.’’
Donald was one of three young women from across the Manawatu¯ region awarded the scholarships.
Silver Fern Farms co-chairman Rob Hewett said the scholarship attracted many young leaders who would take the industry into the future. ‘‘As our business continues to transform into the modern market-led food company we aspire to be, we will need smart, young talent to support that success.’’
Donald was glad women were being recognised as leaders in the industry. ‘‘Farming used to be a man thing and the female was supposed to bake scones for morning tea, but it’s changed so much and women are running their own farms now. I’ve got two younger sisters, and I’d like to get into a partnership with them and have a small farm.’’
The other scholarship recipients were Georgia Moody and Sarah Wilson, from Manawatu¯ ; Dominic Morrison, Otago; and Ella Zwagerman and Izabella Hurst, Southland.