Farmax Scholarships 2016
Top photo: L-R - Ben Howard receiving his award from Farmax manager, Gavin McEwen
Bottom photo: Simon James
Two agricultural science students have recently been awarded a combined total of $10,000 by FARMAX to help them along in their careers.
Fourth year Lincoln University student Simon James’ honours’ project that investigates the integration of crops on New Zealand dairy farms for supplementary feed during lactation, won him the $5000 scholarship.
“There is increasing interest in the use of fodder crops to increase dry matter production and reduce nitrate leaching,” said 21-year-old Canterbury man James.
“My research will be into the use of maize silage in rotation with whole-crop cereal silage as part of a pasture renewal programme on the Lincoln University Dairy Farm, as well as the merits of using fodder beet on the milking platform.”
James said he used the FARMAX system for modelling the cost of production and to compare the different pasture systems.
James’ career aspirations are to run a farm, which he says having not come from a farming background, could put him on the back foot, but that he is determined and motivated to make it happen.
He will use the $5000 towards that business goal, having worked hard and saved sufficient money to bypass accruing a student loan.
“I was really stoked to find out I had won the scholarship. It’s a lot of money for a student and will be useful to achieving my career goals.”
James starts his first farming job on a 1350 cow dairy farm in North Canterbury after he finishes studying, in November 2015.
Massey University honours’ student Benjamin Howard also received $5000 from FARMAX. His honours research involves developing a system that allows farmers to predict the amount of metabolisable energy in pasture so they can create suitable feed budgets and regimes.
He says he needs to measure the loss in sugar from the time of harvest to the time of analysis. The inspiration for his research came from growing up on his parent’s dairy farm in Whakatane.
“I have always been curious about how things work and how we can refine aspects of a system to sustainably optimise production.”
FARMAX scholarships were developed to encourage the next generation of ag scientists and rural professionals to maintain a high quality and breadth of research for the sector.