The 2018 Nuffield Scholars are Simon Cook, Andy Elliot, Turi McFarlane, Solis Norton, and Kate Scott.
A media release from the New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust says:
. . . The five new 2018 scholars join more than 140 New Zealand agricultural leaders, over more than 60 years, to have been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship – a highly respected and prestigious award in the primary sector.
The 12 month scholarship programme with up to 20 weeks spent overseas, allows participants to spend time away from their business and to travel to observe, immerse, reflect and learn about global agricultural practices and the contexts they are operating in. A research topic, which focuses on an issue /challenge for the New Zealand primary sector, will be a focus of individual travel and investigation.
Simon, is a third generation kiwifruit grower from Te Puke. Simon along with his wife Katey and three daughters grows both green and gold varieties of kiwifruit and has recently planted their first Avocado trees. Simon also owns and manages a kiwifruit contracting business, Ranfurly Orchard Services, which just recently won the supreme award at the Te Puke business awards. Simon has governance roles on a number of Kiwifruit industry organisations
After completing a management degree at Waikato University Simon spent four years in Auckland working in various supply chain roles. After re-evaluating their future, Simon and Katey moved to Te Puke where Simon and his father started a kiwifruit contracting business. They also bought their first small kiwifruit orchard giving them an opening to the industry.
With 20 years’ experience in New Zealand’s aquaculture industry, Andy Elliot has a strong background in the commercial development of new aquaculture species and related businesses.
He lives in Nelson, with partner Bec and their three boys. He heads the R&D and business development activities for Wakatū Incorporation (Wakatū), a Māori-owned organisation. Kono NZ LP, their food and drinks business, exports to over 40 countries.
Andy is passionate about their aim at Wakatu to add value to existing food products through exploring high value nutrition and food ingredients.
Prior to working for Wakatū, Andy worked for the Cawthron Institute also spending several years living and working on Stewart Island developing paua hatcheries. Andy studied at Otago University where he gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Marine Science.
A background combining farm systems and natural resource management drives Turi McFarlane’s passion to enhance the sustainability of New Zealand’s primary sector. Of Te Atiawa and Ngai Tahu decent, Turi also has a keen interest in Maori agribusiness.
Turi grew up on a small family sheep and beef farm on Banks Peninsula and now finds himself back in the district with wife Jessie and their three children Ezra, Micah and Sarai, working in a new role with Ravensdown Environmental, as Senior Farm Environmental Consultant. Turi previously worked for Beef+Lamb NZ as South Island environment extension manager.
His interest in agricultural systems and sustainable land management led to tertiary study at Massey University where he completed a Batchelor of Science with a double major in Agricultural Science and Ecology which was followed by a Master of Applied Science at Lincoln University majoring in International Rural Development.
Solis hails from near Port Chalmers, Dunedin and brings a mix of academic and industry experience having completed a Bachelor in Agricultural Science at Massey in 1996, a Masters Degree in Applied Science then a PhD in the epidemiology of Johne’s disease in New Zealand dairy herds.
He joined the New Zealand Deer Industry as Project Manager for their newly established national programme against Johne’s disease. After ten years, the industry has achieved a substantial success.
He seeks to lead New Zealand agriculture toward genuinely sustainable farming systems from an energy and emissions perspective and received an Agmardt Leadership Award in 2014 which allowed travel to the US and visits to energy experts there.
Solis is married to Emily and enjoys martial arts, is a keen hunter and gardener and tries to pursue a simple, balanced lifestyle.
Central Otago based, Kate is an Executive Director of Landpro Limited, a planning and surveying company she jointly founded in 2007, before which Kate 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 is passionate about the primary industries and the environment, and works across a broad range of sectors, including dairy, sheep and beef, horticulture and viticulture. Kate also has extensive irrigation experience, including as the project manager for the Manuherikia Catchment. With her scholarship she is interested in looking at ways for New Zealand to reduce its agri-enviro footprint, including benchmarking New Zealand’s environmental performance against other major agricultural nations.
Kate and Scott have three sons, George (7), Ted (3) and Henry (1 1/2), who enjoy the benefits of living so close to Lake Dunstan as well as to the southern ski fields from their home in Bannockburn.
You can read more at the Nuffield New Zealand website.