Nuffield Scholars 2020 Announced

Five prestigious Nuffield New Zealand Scholarships have been announced for 2020. The scholars were announced on Tuesday 5th November at parliament by by Hon Stuart Nash, Minister of Police, Fisheries, Revenue, and Small Business.


About Nuffield Farming Scholarships

Nuffield Farming Scholarships have been offered to innovative New Zealand farmers since 1950. They were first established in the UK by Lord Nuffield to create an opportunity for farmers to explore best agricultural practice around the world and facilitate innovation in the sector through travel and networking.

The programme has since grown both in New Zealand and internationally, building up a 150-strong network of scholars nationally, and more than 1,600 alumni internationally.

For more information please go to:

The 2020 Nuffield NZ Scholars are:

Tracy Brown

Tracy Brown is a Shareholder/Director of Tiroroa Farms Ltd a 700 cow dairy farm near Matamata in the Waikato, began her career as an agricultural  economist in the sheep and beef sector. A multi environmental award winner, she has been leading environmental change for dairy for almost a decade. Chair of the DairyNZ Dairy Environment Leaders Forum and the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, Tracy is also a member of the Dairy Environment Leadership Group (DELG) which oversees the Water Accord and has recently been appointed by Cabinet to the Essential Freshwater Independent Advisory Panel.

As a Nuffield scholar Tracey is keen to understand more around what policies, mechanisms and processes have been successful in other countries and other industries around the world to create positive environmental change at pace and scale while balancing economic, social and cultural outcomes for communities.

Shannon Harnett

Growing up on a sheep & beef farm in the Hawkes Bay, Shannon Harnett graduated at Massey with a BBS in Accounting and Management and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Agri Commerce. She has experience in several start-up horticultural businesses, dealing with PVR varieties. An investor in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture businesses, Shannon is truly passionate about the New Zealand primary sector.

Shannon is a Chartered Accountant and director and co-owner of Rural Accountants, a progressive accounting firm in Whakatane. She is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and holds directorships in several agricultural and horticultural businesses.

As a Nuffield scholar, Shannon intends to research how PVRs provide growers the opportunity to successfully develop new business internationally, citing G3 kiwifruit, Rockit Apple and hops as examples.

Phil Weir

Phil Weir is the co-owner of a 240ha dry stock farm in the Waikato. Phil is currently an Agribusiness consultant with AgFirst (Waikato) where he focuses on helping a range of clients consider land use diversification. Phil completed the Kellogg rural leadership programme in 2016 and is a member of the Beef and Lamb Mid Northern North Island Farmer Council.

Before taking up farming Phil worked in environmental science, research and development, commercialisation and intellectual property management. Phil holds a Masters degree in Marine Management from Canada’s Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Social Science from Waikato University.

As a Nuffield Scholar Phil will wants to explore the NZ primary sector landscape to determine if there are fundamental barriers restricting collaboration, and to consider how NZ primary producers can best work together.

Edward Pinckney

Edward Pinckney is a director and owner of Jericho Station a 12500 SU sheep, beef andgrazing property near Manapouri and Waipango Dairy Ltd a 700 cow dairy farm near Riverton Southland.

Edward graduated from Telford, Walford Agricultural College (UK) and Lincoln University, and then had several roles on properties throughout the South Island. Since 2006 Edward has been involved in his family business firstly managing Morley Creek near Ohai. Then subsequently leasing, family succession and growing through further acquisitions. He developed the business from 6000 SUs to 15000 SUs before selling and purchasing Jericho and Waipango.

He is involved in several agricultural community organisations and as a Nuffield Scholar has a passion to see people enter the agricultural industry and develop their skills and plans to further research opportunities in this topic as part of his scholarship.

Ben McLauchlan

Ben McLauchlan is the owner of a 102 H vineyard and 30 H beef finishing unit in Rapaura, Marlborough. Growing up in Marlborough during a time of huge development for the NZ wine industry fostered Ben’s interest in viticulture, leading to him completing a Commerce Degree, followed by post graduate studies in Viticulture and Oenology. After 20 years of working in the wine industry internationally, in sales and marketing roles, Ben moved back to
Marlborough with his family and is now running the family farm. Ben is currently Deputy Chair of Marlborough Grape Growers Cooperative and Chair of Rapaura School Board of Trustee’s.

As a Nuffield Scholar Ben’s focus is to enhance the sustainability of Viticulture by lessening its reliance on scarce resources such as labour and fossil fuel with the use of technology found in global primary industries.