Young student wins scholarship

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By AMANDA BOWES

Johanna Smith, from Culverden, is flying high after being awarded one of five inaugural ANZ Future Leaders scholarships.

Having just completed her Agricultural Science degree with honours and now working for Ravensdown, Johanna says she is using the scholarship to study a Graduate Diploma in Chinese through Massey University.

Members of Young Farmers were offered the opportunity to apply for the scholarship, which has been designed to give future leaders in primary industry a helping hand for their planned path of study or professional development. Johanna studied Mandarin at high school for five years, but doing her degree and then research for her honours paper has meant there has been little time to keep up the language.

She had also applied to work for Ravensdown in their graduate programme, for which she has been accepted. To get a feel for the company, she began working part time for them in July.

Now she has finished her honours, she has begun full time work with the company which will continue until Christmas.

After spending Christmas with family back on the family farm, Johanna will take off for China to immerse herself in the culture and practice her Mandarin speaking skills.

“I’m not sure where my skills in speaking Mandarin will lead me, but my ultimate goal is to use it in my work in primary industry. Ravensdown sources from China, so maybe it could be used there.”

Forty university graduates applied for the scholarship through Young Farmers from across New Zealand.

Troy Sutherland, ANZ’s Head of Corporate Agri, congratulated the five recipients.

“A strong agricultural sector is vital to the growth of our economy and developing and encouraging fresh young talent is key to our future success.”