Hope Mauchline and Trudy Laan

Perrin Ag Scholarship 2020 winner

Whanganui teen excels in agribusiness with help of scholarship

Hope is currently in her second year of extramural study, majoring in farm management. The scholarship will contribute to her course fees for 2020, with an opportunity to undertake practical work experience at one of Perrin Ag’s offices.

Hope finished correspondence school at the tender age of 16 and was awarded the prize for top student in agricultural and horticultural science. She is now on track to graduate with her degree at only 19 years of age.

In fact, Hope was awarded the 2019 Massey Agriculture Academic Prize. The honour is reserved for the top first year student academically within agriculture, agricommerce, horticulture and equine disciplines, based on their first semester of study.

While Hope’s family aren’t farmers, she has always loved animals and being outdoors, so a career in agriculture was always on the cards.

“When I finished school, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do,” says Hope. “I did contemplate becoming an accountant, but now I’m confident that a career in agriculture is my true calling.

“I’m truly grateful to the team at Perrin Ag for this scholarship. Financially, it’s huge boost for my studies, but I am also looking forward to learning more from them about what a job in agribusiness might entail.”

 When she’s not studying, you can find Hope helping out on a dairy farm in Bunnythorpe, near Palmerston North – the experience she says has cemented her passion for the industry.

“It has been good to get some practical experience and test out whether I could see myself having a career in agriculture,” says Hope. “I love getting hands-on, helping with milking, working with young stock, spraying and pulling weeds, as well as driving tractors, among other things.

“Once I finish my degree, I’m looking forward to finding a position in the industry where I can make a positive impact in agriculture.

“I’m excited about the idea of helping farmers increase their efficiency and production, which can lead to better returns and opportunities for growth. I would also like to help find solutions for reducing farmer debt and increasing the adoption of new technology so our primary sector can grow.”

As well as her dedication to education and farming, Hope helps out at the Whanganui Aeroclub, where she flew solo for the first time at the age of 16, under the instruction of her father. She also volunteers at her local church.

In awarding Hope the scholarship, Perrin Ag Director Trudy Laan says the team was impressed by her dedicated work ethic, outstanding academic results and passion for the New Zealand agriculture and horticulture industries.

“Hope is a self-motivated, disciplined student excited to join the primary sector and play a part in its future,” she says.

“Her understanding of the issues facing agriculture and farming in New Zealand, and desire to combine on-farm experience with theoretical knowledge, made her a stand-out.

“The New Zealand agricultural sector needs young talent to thrive. This scholarship is one way we can help aspiring Kiwis kick-start their career in our industry. We are thrilled to award this year’s scholarship to Hope and are excited about her future potential.”

Perrin Ag is a full-service agribusiness advisory and management consultancy firm, servicing clients around New Zealand from its offices in Rotorua and Palmerston North. This is the fifth year the firm has offered the scholarship. It is offered annually to promising individuals to continue their agriculture or horticulture studies at either Lincoln or Massey Universities. For more information about our scholarship programme, click here.

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.”