Scholarships

Perrin Ag Scholarships

The New Zealand agricultural sector needs young talent to thrive.

Our annual scholarships are one way Perrin Ag can help aspiring Kiwis kick-start their career in our industry.

We offer two annual scholarships of up to $3000 each to support agriculture and horticulture science students at undergraduate, post-graduate diploma or Honours level at either Lincoln, Waikato or Massey Universities.

Here’s what some of our past scholarship recipients have been up to.

Penny Chapman

2021
Lincoln University

After receiving the Perrin Ag scholarship and graduating from Lincoln University in 2021, I have been working as an Agribusiness Analyst for Westpac. It has been nine months and I have enjoyed my time so far, learning and growing in the role, working with a great team and helping farmers succeed financially. I look forward to where this position will take me and the future networking opportunities within the agriculture industry.

2020 Perrin Ag Scholarship Recipient - Hope Mauchline- Massey University

Hope Mauchline

2020
Massey University

I’m very thankful to the team at Perrin Ag for their support throughout my degree at Massey University. While I’ve been studying, I had the opportunity to gain fantastic insight into the wool industry through working at Elco Direct Wool Buyers during my summer break. It was also great to get out on farms in my final year of university and discuss with farmers their farming systems.

Although COVID-19 cut short my final semester of studying on campus, I’m looking forward to working as a dairy farm assistant once I complete my degree. My aim is to gain more practical experience before progressing my career in New Zealand agriculture.

Geoffrey Berntsen

2019
Massey University

I completed a Masters in Finance at Massey University, majoring in Risk Management. My goal is to relate this back to primary production and help our large corporate businesses operating in the agricultural and horticultural sector. 

I started with ANZ Bank as part of its graduate programme in February 2022 and will continue to study part-time to complete my Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1 qualification.

The scholarship from Perrin Ag has certainly helped me on this path.

Emma Rauhala

2017
Massey University

Since graduating with the help of Perrin Ag’s scholarship, I’ve become a Senior Herd Manager on DairyNZ’s Scott Farm in Ruakura near Hamilton. Because it’s a research farm, there’s always plenty happening to keep you on your toes.

We have multiple trials happening simultaneously throughout the year. Some of my responsibilities include, managing the grazing of cows that are not on trial, managing the casual workers and helping train new staff. I am also the farm liaison for scientists on a four-year trial with 10 herds of 14 cows validating the Forage Value Index.

The variety of tasks keep my job interesting. In any one day, I could be spreading fertiliser, taking blood samples from cows, doing a grazing ride, attending a trial meeting, fencing and of course milking.

Braydon Schroder

2017
Lincoln University

Since graduating from Lincoln University I’ve become a Consultant with Perrin Ag, based in Rotorua.

Half of my role involves overseeing farm properties, their staff and all the assets for absentee business owners, including reporting on progress. The other half of my role includes farm purchase and sale or lease arrangements including due diligence, recruitment, financial and business modelling, and reviews. I am also involved in consulting on pasture, environmental modelling, system and land use reviews, project reviews and modelling for large industry companies. I also run a couple of sheep and beef business groups. It’s a busy and varied role which I really enjoy.

I have also recently formed my own cattle business, Opal Genetics, showing, trading, and breeding Angus and Holstein Friesian cattle in New Zealand and Australia.

Perrin Ag Scholarship recipient - Braydon-Schroder - Lincoln
Sam Tipping

Sam Tipping

2016
Massey University

Since receiving the Perrin Ag Scholarship and graduating, I have become an Agribusiness partner at BNZ. I have been with BNZ for almost five years now, the past three based in Timaru as an Agribusiness Partner looking after South and Mid Canterbury.

Since receiving Perrin Ag’s scholarship, highlights include one month spent fencing in Fiji, before I started with the BNZ, and being part of the winning team at the 2020 Boehringer Ingelheim World Hereford Youth Competition.

Graduate Programme

Lee Matheson

Managing Director
Principal Consultant

B.Appl.Sc (Hons), FNZIPIM (Reg)

Lee came to agribusiness consultancy via the unlikely pathway of a suburban Wellington upbringing, an Honours degree in plant science and a six-year career in the financial markets. In his role as the firm’s MD, Lee doesn’t get out on-farm as much as he used to but makes the most of it when he does. While having swapped the paddock for the boardroom, Lee continues to provide advice in the areas of farm business strategy, farm system innovation, corporate governance, investment analysis and economic research.

Outside of Perrin Ag, Lee loves to spend his time coaching rugby, watching his three kids play sport and gardening with his wife Haidee.

“I love the challenge of empowering people in our primary sectors and the excitement of seeing clients achieving their aspirations. If we can encourage farmers to engage with their consumers, take a more active involvement in their supply chains and view their businesses through a wider lens, then I think our industries have a great future.”

Michael Booth

Consultant

Mike brings a wealth of agri-tech and dairy systems expertise to Perrin Ag. After graduating with a Bachelor of AgriCommerce from Massey, he started his career with DairyNZ as a consulting officer where he ran discussion groups and managed farm supervision.

He left DairyNZ to travel the world but within a few months Covid hit, the borders closed, and Mike and his wife Nikita returned home. Back in New Zealand, he took up a role managing DairyNZ’s monitor farms on the Hauraki Plains before joining Halter.

After finishing his OE, he returned home to live in Papamoa and joined the Perrin Ag team in February 2024.

“I’m not someone who likes to sit still and I like to be continually learning. I saw an opportunity with Perrin Ag. As a business their ethos is about continuous improvement and learning. There are always new and better ways of doing things and we need to be at the forefront of that for our clients.”

Abbey Dowd

Consultant

B.Ag.Sc (Hons), MNZIPIM

Abbey joined Perrin Ag in February 2023 as part of the firm’s graduate recruitment programme, Empower.

Abbey grew up surrounded by dairy farms in a close-knit community in South Waikato. She saw first-hand how local farmers supported her community, which is what inspired her to study at Lincoln University.

Growing up in a rural community Abbey has always been impressed by how much local farmers contribute to the community. She wanted to help give back to the industry and play a part in helping our primary sector continue to produce quality food in a sustainable way.

In 2022, Abbey spent the summer as an intern on one of New Zealand’s first commercial deer milking operations. Her Honours project was researching deer milk alongside other more traditional milking operations and assessing the deer milking industry’s future production possibilities.

“Growing up I didn’t live on a farm, but I always knew I wanted to work in the farming sector. I wanted a role where there was a balance between working on and off farm and where I could support farmers to get the best out of their businesses.”

Sam Gray

Consultant

Sam grew up on a dairy farm in the Far North. After graduating from the University of Otago in 2005 with an Honours degree in molecular biotechnology, he spent several years working in medical research in New Zealand and Scotland. Upon returning to New Zealand in 2012, he spent four seasons dairy farming in Northland before purchasing a 56 ha block in Taupо̄, where he was first exposed to farming under a nitrogen cap. Sam joined Perrin Ag in 2023 and brings his strong analytical skills that are grounded by a pragmatic approach to problem solving. Outside of farming and consultancy, you’ll likely find him fly fishing, hunting or snowboarding.

“A lot of farmers feel overwhelmed in the face of a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. I strive to help farmers understand what these environmental regulations mean for their business, and offer practical solutions that allow them to keep doing what they do best, whilst remaining compliant”.

Danni Armstrong

Finance administrator

Danni grew up on a life style block in Atiamuri and spent five seasons as a relief milker in the area. During this time, her full time roles were in various fields including the rental car, health care and marine industries. Danni has had a focus on administrative and accounting duties, but is also proficient in looking after customers especially well, social media and website operation, running a rental car fleet and the associated tasks like training, rosters, H&S and organising repairs! Danni joined Perrin Ag in May 2021, to be part of a business in an industry she is passionate about.

During her spare time Danni can be found reading a book with her cats or out enjoying the walks in Rotorua’s Redwoods.

“What motivates me each day is knowing that I will be challenged with a range of problem solving tasks. I love to see all the figures adding up and knowing that my role makes a difference to the team.”

Duncan Walker

Director
Principal Consultant

B.Appl.Sc, MNZIPIM (Reg)

Coming from a drystock and dairy farming background, Duncan has always been passionate about growing primary sector businesses. Whether it’s pastoral farming, forestry, horticulture or investments outside the farm gate, sustainably optimising business performance is Duncan’s passion. After graduating from Massey University with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness, Duncan’s first opportunity to optimise a farm business was by undertaking a dairy conversion. Duncan project managed the conversion and continued to run the dairy farm for a further three years.

Since joining Perrin Ag in 2011 Duncan works with a wide range of clients including those ‘outside the farm gate’. With his strong background in investment analysis, business strategy and project management, Duncan is increasingly working with clients to analyse and integrate horticulture and forestry investments into their farm businesses.

“I enjoy helping clients navigate through the complexities of today’s operational, financial and environmental challenges. Seeing clients achieve their goals is very rewarding”

Lee Matheson

Managing Director
Principal Consultant

B.Appl.Sc (Hons), FNZIPIM (Reg)

Lee came to agribusiness consultancy via the unlikely pathway of a suburban Wellington upbringing, an Honours degree in plant science and a six-year career in the financial markets. In his role as the firm’s MD, Lee doesn’t get out on-farm as much as he used to but makes the most of it when he does. While having swapped the paddock for the boardroom, Lee continues to provide advice in the areas of farm business strategy, farm system innovation, corporate governance, investment analysis and economic research.

Outside of Perrin Ag, Lee loves to spend his time coaching rugby, watching his three kids play sport and gardening with his wife Haidee.

“I love the challenge of empowering people in our primary sectors and the excitement of seeing clients achieving their aspirations.  If we can encourage farmers to engage with their consumers, take a more active involvement in their supply chains and view their businesses through a wider lens, then I think our industries have a great future.”