New Zealand’s leading rural insurer, FMG is once again thrilled to announce two FMG Agriculture Scholarship recipients for 2023, Millie Higinbottom from Tinui and James Guerin from Burkes Pass.

The FMG Agriculture Scholarship programme was set up in 2005, to give students a financial leg-up and help them achieve their goals that little bit faster, without the additional stress of having large debt over their heads. Students receive $5,000 towards their tuition fees per academic year of their agriculture-based degree at Massey, Lincoln, or Waikato.

Millie Higinbottom

Raised on a sheep and beef farm in Tinui Millie has always had a deep connection with agriculture and would take any opportunity she could to get out on farm with her dad.

“Growing up I have lived and breathed farm life and have experienced the hard work and dedication that gets put in daily. The farm is 100% my happy place. I can’t wait to grow with the industry as I know there is so much to look forward to and many successes to come. I am honoured to be a part of it and love every aspect of it.”

Now, a first-year student at Lincoln University studying a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture, Millie strongly believes that more students should get involved.

“Agriculture is the backbone of our country and unique to us. It is constantly evolving and world leading. You can challenge yourself to be better, which brings great satisfaction”.

Millie, who has aspirations to own her own sheep and beef farm one day, chose to apply for FMG’s Agricultural Scholarship because her personal values aligned with FMG’s. She says receiving the scholarship will open doors and help her make new connections and develop new skills.

James Guerin

Hailing from Burkes Pass in the Mackenzie Country, James grew up on a sheep and beef farm and says agriculture runs in his blood.

With his eyes set on becoming a large or mixed animal vet, James is currently in his first year at Massey University enrolled in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science programme.

“For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in the health of stock and pets. Becoming a vet would mean that I can build relationships with clients and help them and their pets/livestock on a daily basis and work alongside farmers providing advice and solutions for their livestock while also helping rural communities.”

James looks forward to the huge variety the profession has to offer and the possibilities to give back to the rural sector to ensure it is sustainable into the future.

The budding vet is thankful to FMG for the Agriculture Scholarship and says it will help alleviate some of the financial pressure that comes with tertiary study.

The South Cantabrian also had some advice for those interested in the agricultural sector.

“My advice would be to get out there and get involved! The New Zealand agriculture industry is full of opportunities and it’s so easy for young people to get stuck in and make a living - it is New Zealand’s economic powerhouse after all.”