Bachelor of agricommerce student Megan Robertson has won the big prize at Massey University’s agricultural awards.

Robertson won the Massey agriculture student of the year as Massey’s rising stars were recognised at the 26th annual awards at the Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre on Friday night. Growing up on a dairy farm on the West Coast near Hari Hari, Robertson knew from a young age she would work in the rural sector.

As a Dairy New Zealand undergraduate scholar, she has taken all her opportunities.

In her first year, she completed her practicum report a year early and topped the class a year ahead.

The award is for academic as well as practical achievement.

In July, Robertson was part of a team representing New Zealand at the international food and agribusiness management association conference and business case study competition in China, which was about how e-commerce shapes global agribusiness.

The team finished second in its categories.

Robertson was also awarded the young farmers club Sally Hobson Award for service to the club. She held roles each year of her degree: sheriff, vice-chairwoman and then chairwoman this year.

This included the club launching the rural student of the year competition.

The William Gerrish Memorial Prize went to bachelor of agricommerce student Grace Burmeister.

The prize is for meritorious performance in various farm management papers and for demonstrating a high level of personal integrity, intellectual curiosity, vision and social conscience.

Burmeister was a Dairy New Zealand undergraduate scholar for the past three years. She grew up on a dairy farm at Mangatainoka. It includes six hectares of bush as part of the QEII National Trust, which helped her develop a keen interest in environmental issues.

The Zespri Award for excellence in horticulture was won by Emma Simpson, who has just landed a job at Zespri, after completing her final year of a bachelor of agriscience in horticulture.

A Massey graduate agriculture alumni achievement award was given to Jessie Chan-Dorman, who worked part-time as a lab technician at Fonterra while studying animal science, graduating with a bachelor of science (honours) in animal science.

Since then she has worked in a range of rural professional positions. She is a director of Ruralco and rural supplies co-operative the Ashburton Trading Society, as well as being a director of the Biosecurity Research Centre.

She is a former dairy woman of the year and former Fonterra shareholders councillor. She has a dairy farm in Dorie, Canterbury, with her husband Hayden, which has a herd of 900 cows on 420 hectares.

Other awards:

  • Equine student of the year: Ellie Aykroyd
  • NZ Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science leading student award: Paige van Vught

Most proficient first-year students:

  • First: Bachelor of agricommerce student Hope Mauchline (distance student).
  • Second: Bachelor of agricommerce student Christian Hipp (distance student).
  • Third: Bachelor of horticultural science student Abraham Paans.

Most proficient second-year students

  • First: Bachelor of agriscience student Alex Hoek.
  • Second equal: Bachelor of AgriScience student Yvonne van Baarle and bachelor of agricommerce student Zane Williams.

Most proficient third-year students

  • First: Bachelor of agricommerce student Benjamin Orchard.
  • Second: Bachelor of agricommerce student Hugh Jackson.
  • Third: Bachelor of agricommerce  student Megan Robertson.

Producing the best report for practicum 1: Bert You (Dai-Cian You)

Producing the best report for practicum 2: Benjamin Orchard

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