2016 Recipient of the Lawson Robinson Hawke's Bay A&P Scholarship
The Future of Farming is in Safe Hands
Olivia Ellis is the 2016 recipient of the Lawson Robinson Hawke's Bay A&P Society Scholarship.
Olivia is 21 and in her fourth year at Lincoln University completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science honours programme focusing in sheep genetics.
Olivia grew up on the family sheep and beef farm in Onga Onga. She is proud of the contributions to farming made by her parents, and wants to follow in their footprints.
"I know how passionate Dad and Mum are about farming" she says. "I want to continue the work they have done in the agricultural industry."
Now that her time at university is coming to a close, Olivia is looking forward to building a career in agriculture. Her future in farming is bright and she is clear about her goals and ambitions. Ambition goes hand in hand with pragmatism and a certain humbleness: "I know it takes a lot of years and hard work to get that job you really love."
Although she has already built up a good hands-on knowledge of farming, her real interest lies in science and making scientific interpretation accessible to farmers. She enjoys the continual pursuit of knowledge that science opens up for her.
Olivia feels positive abut the number of women moving into agricultural careers in New Zealand. "At university you can see how many females are getting into farming." The field of finalists for the Lawson Robinson Scholarship is testament to that; all those in the running this year were women.
Olivia will put the Scholarship to good use funding her genetic analysis of the IGF-1 gene in sheep and its role in growth - an area with very minimal research in New Zealand.
When she is not hard at work in the lab or on the farm, Olivia is a keen netballer and is currently training for the Hawke's Bay Half Marathon.