A close relationship with those who support and guide the future minds of New Zealand’s agricultural sector, is a partnership that Luisetti Seeds values.
Four years ago, Dr Derrick Moot from Lincoln University approached seed companies to support students a Lincoln by rewarding excellence in their plant science papers. Luisetti Seeds already had a relationship with this programme as a supporter of the Dryland Pastures Research project so an award was a natural extension. The award, guided by Luisetti Seeds, is for the top performing student in the 200 level Plant Production Systems course, examined by Dr Moot at Lincoln University.
The Plant Production Systems paper covers plant species, crop production, and management, as well as pasture establishment. Students are expected to identify different plants and understand how to manage them in cropping, sheep, beef and dairy systems. The course also includes farm visits throughout Canterbury and has a four day North Island tour to ensure students are familiar with different farming systems. Examinations included two mid-semester tests, a practical test, and a final exam.
This year’s Luisetti Seeds award went to top student, Jessica Smitstra. Dr Moot said Jess was chosen for her “very high internal assessment grades and was separated from other students by her outstanding final exam result”.
Growing up on a family goat farm at Matamata in the Waikato, Jess enjoyed being involved on the farm from a young age. Jess enjoys the outdoors and spent her childhood horse-riding, running and helping out on the farm. It therefore made sense to Jess to pursue agriculture as a career and lead to her enrolling to study for a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) at Lincoln University.
Now in her second year at Lincoln University, Jess is involved with the Lincoln Young Farmers Club, as well as the Handy Landy’s club which help farmers through volunteer work. She has also received a Dairy NZ Scholarship which provided valuable guidance and networking opportunities.
Her particular agricultural interests involve knowing what is required to run a successful farming business. Jess has enjoyed acquiring knowledge in a large range of areas including plant, animal, and soil science, business management, and sustainability strategies.
After completing her degree, Jess hopes to work in a practical role in the agricultural sector. This could range from working on a farm, to research or rural banking. Her end goal would be to run her own agricultural business, however she is ready to take on any opportunities that come up along the way.
Luisetti Seeds congratulates Jess on her award and wishes her every future success in New Zealand’s agricultural industry.