New Zealand’s leading rural insurer FMG, is pleased to announce two outstanding students have been awarded the FMG Agriculture Scholarships for 2022.

Emma Woods from Huntly and Angus Neal from Timaru will each receive $5000 towards their tuition fees for each year of their agricultural degrees.

“Each year I’m blown away by the talent and calibre of the applications and this year was no exception. The genuine passion for agriculture shines through in each one. It’s impressive the number of achievements and huge commitment to agriculture each applicant shows at such a young age” says FMG’s General Manager of People, Culture and Communication, Pete Frizzell.

“Our successful applicants stood out as well-balanced individuals who have excelled in several areas, as well as academically. They also demonstrated research-based insight in their chosen essay topics. Good luck to Angus & Emma for their studies and we look forward to following their study journey”.

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.

Emma Woods

Emma grew up on a small lifestyle block in Huntly and had a deep connection with agriculture from the get-go. Since 2018 she has been working on farms, milking cows, doing farm admin, rearing calves, and evidently becoming more confident with her own skillset.

From a young age Emma has dreamed of being a vet and hopes to one day work alongside farmers to positively impact the agriculture industry.

“I intend to develop my own dairy farming experience whilst also working alongside other farmers as a large or mixed animal vet. Large animal vet culture is aimed at educating and preventing issues from arising through planning and use of effective treatment when necessary. I aim to build my own knowledge to create solutions to existing and future issues” she says.

By receiving the FMG scholarship Emma can focus on her vet studies at Massey University, without worrying about financial limitations. She is looking forward to attending FMG events to build connections within the rural community and better understand the issues that are present in the industry today.

The future vet also gave some advice for those thinking about a career in agriculture,

“The agriculture industry is at the heart of New Zealand. It provides an environment to constantly learn and develop your own skills. It’s hard work, but every day is a new adventure and rewarding in its own way. If you are willing to do the work, there will always be someone to teach you and support you.”

Angus Neal

Agriculture is in Angus’ blood. Growing up, his father managed multiple stations across the country, and this was where Angus’ enthusiasm for agriculture started. Day after day young Angus would be out on the station with his father, mustering alongside him on his pony.

Now, with his family living on a sheep, beef, and deer farm near Fairlie, South Canterbury, the Timaru Boys High school alumni is looking forward to studying a Bachelor of Agriculture at Lincoln University.

“I want to be a part of the agricultural industry because it is something that I am extremely

passionate about and really care for. I see the future of Agriculture being not only full of

challenges but packed with useful innovations to maximize the efficiency and profitability of

farming systems.”

With big hopes for the future, Angus wants to take what he learns at university and head overseas to acquire further knowledge on farming practices used around the world. Once he’s cured the travel bug, his sights are on becoming a Head Shepherd with the end goal of owning or leasing his own farm in New Zealand, much like his parents before him.

When asked the reason for applying for the FMG Agriculture scholarship, Angus stated it was more than just the financial leg up.

“I chose to apply for the FMG scholarship because FMG are a renowned and trusted agricultural business. Because of this, I believe they will be able to give me guidance around business skills but more importantly people skills. To me, being able to communicate clearly and in a good

manner is the most essential skill to have in any sort of business structure.”