Each year, children of Ravensdown shareholders are eligible for the Hugh Williams Ravensdown Memorial Scholarship. Founded in 2000 to commemorate the late Hugh Williams – a Director of the Co-op from 1987-2000, this scholarship provides $5000 per year to undertake an agricultural or horticultural degree. Applicants are short-listed from an initial essay and application, and then interviewed by a member of the Human Resources team.
To register your interest in the Hugh Williams scholarship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information about eligibility and applying for the scholarship will be available here from July.
2016 Scholarship Winner - Lucy Bell
Eighteen year old Lincoln University student Lucy Bell, from Palmerston, is the latest winner of the Hugh Williams Ravensdown Memorial University Scholarship.
Currently in her first semester at Lincoln University, Lucy says she is really enjoying the chemistry and biology classes and is looking forward to starting the animal, plant and soil classes next semester.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have been brought up on a farm and have always wanted a career in agriculture,” said Lucy. “At high school I developed a strong interest in the sciences. Having observed the impact that Lucerne and summer brassicas have made to the profitability of my family’s farm has helped spark an interest in plant science for me.”
“Once I’ve finished my degree I’d like to become a part of a graduate programme, like the one they have at Ravensdown. I’m really interested in plant development for places like our home in the east Otago hill country. I would love to be able to help with development of legumes that are able to thrive on harder hill country, and therefore make this class of land more profitable.”
2015 Scholarship Winner - Braydon Schroder
Braydon Schroder is the latest winner of the Hugh Williams Ravensdown Memorial University Scholarship.
“Growing up on a dairy farm in the Tararua district, I have built a strong passion for the dairy industry and general farm life,” said the Palmerston North High School student. “I’m planning to study a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree with a major in nutrition to develop a greater understanding in dairy nutrition and farm systems. I love the idea of working with farmers and helping them achieve their financial and production targets to create a better farming business.”
2014 Scholarship Winner - Zoe Haylock.
Zoe Haylock, from Greenpark near Lincoln University, is the winner of this year’s scholarship. Zoe is a second year Lincoln University student, has a strong dairying background, and says she is naturally keen to be involved in the industry.
Zoe says that the practical components of her degree – which cover other areas of agriculture such as sheep, beef and deer farming as well as crops and other associated sectors – will be important elements in rounding her knowledge of the agricultural community.
She says it’s important to look at what farmers are actually trying to achieve to maximise environmental and financial sustainability.
Zoe says her ambition is to develop her skills to a proficient standard to allow her to pursue a career in farm management or consultancy - “I have a strong interest in how animal health husbandry and nutrition can improve performance and productivity. I’m keen to explore opportunities to pursue this interest,” she says.
Away from the farm, Zoe has a commitment to outdoor and community activities – especially equestrian events.
2013 Scholarship Winner – Johanna Smith
From North Canterbury, Johanna is a first year student studying towards a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University. Johanna says, “undertaking tertiary study in agriculture is key to acquiring the knowledge and skills that will enable me to give back to the agricultural industry in the future”
Johanna has been learning Mandarin Chinese for the past 5 years and her ambition is to make use of this skill in conjunction with an Agricultural Science degree to assist the New Zealand agricultural industry through involvement with New Zealand exports and industry relations, she said “the financial assistance towards my Lincoln University studies will allow me to better pursue this interest”
2012 Scholarship Winners - Hamish Robinson & Sarah Tait
Sarah Tait whose parents farm in Ashburton and Hamish Robinson from Southland were the joint winners of the annual Hugh Williams Ravensdown Memorial scholarship for 2012.
Hamish is currently studying at Lincoln University towards a Bachelor of Agriculture and Agriculture Science. Hamish acknowledges “that it is extremely important that young people get into the scientific and technological industries surrounding agriculture, new innovations are always needed and with the world’s population forever increasing, agricultural products will always be required.” Hamish has a strong interest in the scientific aspects of farming and would one day like to own a farm of his own.
Sarah is also currently at Lincoln University studying to complete a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. Sarah says, “it is so important that we protect our nation’s reputation of producing some very high quality food and it will take our country’s sharpest young people of today to make it happen. Improving our production while keeping it sustainable is crucial for NZ as we head into some volatile years ahead for the world.” Sarah is motivated by the prospect of one day being in the field “solving practical problems for real farmers”.
2011 Scholarship Winner - Monica Schwass
Monica, who is a Bachelor of Agricultural Science student at Lincoln University, says she was thrilled to be awarded the 2011 scholarship. “It takes huge financial stress out of the next couple of years. Instead of chipping away at the student loan every holiday, I will be able to focus on learning more and getting myself ahead.”
On completing her study, she’d like to look at something like research work to “put back into an industry which I see as the basis of New Zealand’s existence; an industry which is of upmost importance now and will be even more so in the future as primary products become more of a priority to consumers”.
Monica grew up in North Canterbury where her parents farm sheep and beef property, Kaiora Downs, near Culverden. The former Villa Maria College student started a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at Massey University in 2010. However, despite good marks, she changed to a Bachelor of Science majoring in Agriculture after realising this was more the direction she wanted to take. She moved the degree to Lincoln University this year.
2010 Scholarship Winner - Ben Hindmarsh
For agriculture to continue to develop requires a stream of well educated agriculturalists, entering the industry, says Ben Hindmarsh the winner of the 2010 Hugh Williams Ravensdown Memorial Scholarship.
From the Hawkes Bay, Ben is a first-year student at Lincoln University, studying toward a Bachelor of Commerce in Agricultural Management. Ben hopes to own his own farm and wants to be able to use his degree to further his agricultural knowledge.
“The scholarship will cover my fees and means I’ll have a better kick-start to my career. I also have some practical requirements for my degree, so the opportunity to work in a business setting will be useful. I feel very privileged to be involved with Ravensdown."