I grew up on a small scale, family run dairy farm in South Taranaki, spending a lot of time out on the farm, both helping out with everyday farm activities and for leisure. It was here that my enthusiasm for farming developed, and is a big part of the reason I ultimately went on to study agriculture. My primary and secondary education both took place in Hawera, attending St Joseph’s School from 2007 – 2015 and Hawera High School from 2016 – 2020. In high school I discovered my interest in science, which appealed to my natural curiosity. As a result, I decided to enter tertiary study with the goal to become an agricultural researcher.


Growing up on a farm meant I was exposed to all the challenges facing the industry, both now and in the future. I realised many of them could be alleviated through a better understanding of the soils that are the foundation of all agriculture. Therefore, I intended to study soil science, however I was unable to find an undergraduate degree with this specialisation and was unsatisfied with the lack of specialisation the agricultural science degree offered. Therefore, I entered a science degree in microbiology as Massey University with the intention of applying this to the agricultural industry. The soil microbiome is essential for a healthy, functional soil, so a good understanding of microbiology would set me up well for future study in soil science. I chose to study at Massey due to its reputation as a leading agricultural university, which would allow me to take relevant agricultural papers as well as provide opportunities to form connections and networks with professionals in agricultural science.


The financial assistance I received from the L A Alexander Agricultural College Trust helped substantially throughout my undergraduate study by lessening the financial strain of attending university and allowing me to focus on my studies. I received the L A Alexander Agricultural College Trust Undergraduate Scholarship each year of my undergraduate degree, as well as the John McIntyre Award for Excellence, which is also awarded by the L A Alexander Agricultural College Trust, in my second year. These covered a significant portion of my study related costs each year and played a big role in helping my ambitions become attainable. The support I received from the L A Alexander Agricultural College Trust has put me well on the tract towards achieving my goals, as I am currently undertaking a Master of Science in agricultural science, with a specialisation in soil science, at Massey University.