Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | November 1, 2013

New Nuffield Scholars

Five new names have been added to the historic list of Nuffield Scholars in New Zealand.

I can quote this press release word for word and not claim plagiarism because as I mentioned the other day, Nuffield NZ is one of my clients!

It’s hard for a journalist to sit on news for over a week, but hey, I also like knowing something that no-one else knows! 🙂

Nuffield New Zealand announced the new scholarships at a function in Wellington last night for North Canterbury sheep and beef farmer and entrepreneur Dan Shand, Marlborough Garlic general manager and vineyard owner John Murphy; Masterton sales and marketing entrepreneur Lucy Cruickshank, Palmerston North potato grower Paul Olsen from Opiki near Palmerston North and Beef + Lamb NZ western North Island extension manager Mel Poulton from Woodville.

From left: Dan, Lucy, John, Paul and Mel

From left: Dan, Lucy, John, Paul and Mel

Their research topics are likely to cover issues such as mobile technology, the international distribution of NZ’s information and technology, turning good farming into big business, potato (cropping) production and the positioning of manuka and other honey off shore.

The five new scholars join more than 140 others who have been awarded Nuffield Scholarships in the past 60 years. A Nuffield Scholarship is one of New Zealand’s most valuable and prestigious awards with a limited number awarded each year, says Nuffield NZ chairman Julian Raine.

“To be awarded a Nuffield Scholarship is to be awarded a life changing experience. Nuffield New Zealand is investing in our future rural leaders.”

The Nuffield NZ Scholarship offers the opportunity for overseas travel, study of the latest developments in a number of leading agricultural countries, and provides an entrée to leaders and decision makers not accessible to the ordinary traveller.

Successful applicants have the opportunity to develop a better understanding of New Zealand and international relationships through at least four months travel. Scholars participate in a Contemporary Scholars conference with 60 Nuffield Scholars from around the world and a six-week Global Focus Programme with an organised itinerary through several countries with other scholars. Finally they have their own individual study programme with a research report due at the end of their travels.

The five 2014 scholars are:

Culverden’s Dan Shand farms Island Hills Station in North Canterbury with his wife Amanda and two young children and has a beekeeping and honey operation known as Everything NZ Ltd. For his Nuffield Scholarship report, Dan proposes to explore sustainable solutions to secure the long-term economic contribution made by NZ’s bee population to agriculture and also how mobile technology could be used as a data collection tool in the honey and red meat sectors to deliver a value proposition to farmers.

John Murphy is general manager of Marlborough Garlic, a family garlic and shallot operation. John and wife Jo live in Blenheim with their two young children. They also have a 4ha vineyard. John is a director of Vegetables NZ and chairman of the Alliums Crop Advisory Group and the Marlborough Process and Fresh Vegetable Growers Society.  For his Nuffield Scholarship report, John is interested in how good farming can be turned into big business without losing its “essence”.


Wairarapa entrepreneur Lucy Cruickshank owns sales and marketing company Innov8 Aotearoa, which helps NZ companies sell and market food and beverage products with a focus on export development. Lucy spent seven years as a FAME trustee and is on the Masterton Licensing Trust. For her Nuffield Scholarship, Lucy is proposing to explore the positioning of manuka and other NZ honeys off shore or sheep milk and related products.


Manawatu potato grower Paul Olsen took over the operations of his family farm, Olsen Partnership/Okunui Agriculture in 2006. In 2008, he also started growing potatoes himself. He finishes cattle and has dairy equity in Wairarapa. Paul has completed leadership and professional development courses, including Kellogg Rural Leaders. He was NZ Young Farmers national president 2011-2013 and is still involved with the organisation. Paul’s Nuffield Scholarship report will concentrate on potato (cropping) production.

Mel Poulton is the western North Island extension manager for Beef + Lamb New Zealand. Married to Mike, she also plays an active role in their sheep and beef farm business near Dannevirke.  Mel has a background in event management and an applied science degree from Massey University (agriculture and agribusiness).  Mel’s research topic may look at how we capture value for New Zealand through the distribution of our information and technology for access to markets.

For more information about Nuffield NZ or the reports of previous scholars go here!




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