FMG is proud to be supporting the next generation of rural industry leaders through the FMG Agriculture scholarships.

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 a large debt hanging over their heads. Students receive $5,000 towards their tuition fees per academic year of their agriculture-based degree at Massey, Lincoln, or Waikato.

2021 saw two of our previous scholarship recipients, Andrew Allan and Laura McQuillan-Reese, graduate from their respective university courses. We caught up with them to see how they went on whilst at university and what they’re up to now.

Andrew Allan

Andrew Allan, born and bred in the Southern town of Gore, graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture).

“The course was highly relevant to my interests and the career path I was working towards. I wanted to study agriculture but also develop core business skills which I think are important to being successful in the industry,” says Andrew.

The Lincoln University alumni says the past few years have had their challenges, especially navigating study amidst the COVID19 pandemic.

“We missed out on a couple of our field tours to the North Island which was a bit disappointing. I went home for the lockdowns, but I had a few challenges with studying from home, our rural broadband could barely keep up with lectures delivered via Zoom.”

After graduating from university last year, Andrew has recently started a full-time position on a Dairy Farm as a Herd Manager. Prior to securing this position he was helping his dad on the family deer farm and enjoying home life.

The FMG scholarship helped Andrew with the financial aspects of his studies, and he’s grateful he was chosen as a recipient. His future aspirations are to continue to work his way up the career ladder in the hopes of one day owning his own farm.

Andrew recently competed in the 2022 FMG Young Farmer of the Year, Tasman Regional Final where he placed runner up in the competition.

Laura McQuillan-Reese

Laura McQuillan-Reese grew up on a sheep farm in Hawarden, North Canterbury and attended Rangiora High School. Whilst a student at Rangiora, a teacher encouraged Laura to consider pursuing agriculture, which led her to studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) at Lincoln University.

“I love the industry and saw it as a viable career choice where I could pair the love of the land with research and science in New Zealand. I knew it was the right choice for me” says Laura.

Studying at Lincoln in her 3rd and 4th years, Laura found her groove and excelled in her studies and began to see a path opening up for her into the agricultural sector.

“I was starting to make real connections within the industry. I was getting feedback from lecturers, interacting with some as mentors and applying what I had learnt in classes to practical situations to the point where I started my own small business. It was so rewarding and a period that I am really proud of,” says Laura.

Laura has now made the move to Rotorua where she is currently working at Perrin Ag, an agribusiness consultancy.

A high achiever, she has set herself a long-term goal to continue to be involved in agricultural research and advisory work but hopes to one day to inform policy and research within the wider industry.

Laura is very appreciative of the FMG Scholarship as says it made the decision to complete tertiary study easier and lessened the financial burden.

“I am extremely grateful that FMG was able to support me throughout my degree. The scholarship enabled me to pursue my passion and provided me with confidence to just aim high and work hard to achieve the results you expect for yourself.”