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Ravensdown scholarship awarded to Ngahuia

Ravensdown has announced this year's winner of the Hugh Williams Memorial Scholarship and it has gone to Gisborne born and bred Ngahuia Wilson.

The scholarship offers $5000 a year for a student studying agriculture or horticulture at Lincoln or Massey universities for the duration of their studies.

In addition, the recipient is also offered a paid holiday internship with Ravensdown.

The company received a record number of strong scholarship applications this year.

“But amidst other applicants, Ngahuia's commitment to the agri-sector, academic achievements, innovative thinking and passion shone through,” a Ravensdown spokesman said.

Ngahuia is currently in her second year of study at Lincoln University, where she is completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science.

“Originally from a sheep and beef farm in Gisborne, Ngahuia spent a large amount of her childhood mustering on horseback and assisting with maintenance of her family's farm.”

That experience left her deeply passionate about the rural sector.

“When I was just a baby, dad would take me out mustering on the horses in a baby carrier,” Ngahuia said.

“But it wasn't until my family bought our farm 15 years ago that I really had the opportunity to become more involved in farm life and started helping out with all kinds of things like fencing, yard work and mustering.”

Since beginning her degree, Ngahuia has developed a keen interest in soil and plant science and hopes to begin a career in the field following her studies.

“My interest in soil and plant science began last year after learning more about it in my lectures,” she said.

“It really opened my eyes up to all the opportunities that could come from having a career in that field.

“It's an area that I can definitely see myself working in after my degree, perhaps as a nutrient manager or in the science side of seed breeding, which is really exciting.

“One of the things that my studies have taught me is just how important soil quality is to farming in New Zealand,” Ngahuia said.

“If we are going to keep growing food for the next 100 years, we must make sure our soil quality is maintained. Making improvements to our country's soil while preventing degradation and erosion has to be a top priority.”

SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: Gisborne's Ngahuia Wilson has been awarded the Hugh Williams Memorial Scholarship to assist with her studies at Lincoln University where she is completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science Degree. Picture supplied