Our vision is Inspirational Food created by Passionate People. Providing support to young people who want a future in the food and farming industry is important to Silver Fern Farms.

Through the Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships we are committing to investing in our future red meat sector leaders and recognising and rewarding excellence emerging in our communities.

Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships offer young people financial assistance to develop their red meat sector careers and capabilities in food and farming each year. 

Silver Fern Farms is offering six annual $5,000 scholarships to provide a financial boost to young people who will shape the future of the New Zealand red meat sector.

Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships applications now open

Scholarship applications are open to people wanting to develop their career in the food or red meat industry with interests in; red meat, food production, agriculture, food marketing, marketing and sales, research and development, food processing, cooking and food technology.

Selection process

Silver Fern Farms reviews all applications. We will call shortlisted applicants to discuss their application and how they meet the scholarship criteria. It is very important for applicants to provide a phone number we can call during business hours. Scholarships will be awarded on the recommendation of a scholarship selection committee.

A number of criteria will guide selection decisions:

  • Presentation and answers to questions on the application
  • Academic merit
  • Evidence of an understanding of New Zealand livestock, meat and related agribusiness sectors
  • Evidence of an understanding of Silver Fern Farms’ brand strategy
  • Evidence of an understanding of New Zealand’s food industry
  • A conversation with the Silver Fern Farms Co-operative shareholder who is supporting the applicant
  • Agreement to attend the Plate to Pasture Farmer Conference in Rotorua 24-26 September. This will be paid for by Silver Fern Farms as part of winning the regional scholarship
  • The panel’s decision is final.

Youth Scholarship Details

  • Scholarship applications are open to people wanting to develop their career in the food or red meat industry with interests in; red meat, food production, agriculture, food marketing, marketing and sales, research and development, food processing, cooking and food technology
  • Each scholarship is valued at $5000 to be paid in the year it is awarded
  • Recipients will be presented with the scholarship at the Plate to Pasture Farmers Conference
  • Recipients will receive flights, accommodation and attendance at Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Farmer Conference in Rotorua in September
  • Scholarships will be awarded to applicants from the following Silver Fern Farms regions:
    • Upper North Island
    • Western North Island
    • Eastern North Island
    • Upper South Island
    • Lower South Island
  • There will also be one Judges Choice Scholarship, awarded to a candidate from anywhere in the country.

Scholarship Criteria

  • Applications must be received by 5.00pm Fri 24 August via email to YouthScholarship@silverfernfarms.co.nz
  • Scholarship applications are invited from anyone aged between 17 and 25 with one year’s industry experience or tertiary education. 
  • Applicants must be supported by a Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Shareholder
  • The scholarship recipients will receive a cash grant of $5,000 for the year it is awarded in
  • The scholarship funds must be spent to help the recipient to further their career in the red meat sector. For example; studying at polytechnic, university, a farm cadet programme or a food science or culinary design school, or other experience to advance their red meat industry experience
  • Applicants need to have a good academic record, good interpersonal skills and a passion for food and farming
  • Recipients must allow Silver Fern Farms to publish information on them on their website and in marketing collateral 
  • Recipients must agree to stay in touch with Silver Fern Farms to update on their achievements
  • Recipients must provide proof that the funds have been spent according to the criteria.

Youth Scholarship Winners 2017

Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarship winners 2017

In 2017 Silver Fern Farms received 79 applications for the inaugural Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships. The standard and passion from the applicants exceeded all expectations and the judging panel had a challenging job making their selections. The scholarship recipients each received $5,000 to further their careers in the red meat sector. 

The Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships were awarded to the following people:

Grace Van Tilborg – Northland
Hugh Jackson – Waikato and Bay of Plenty
Jake Jarman – Western North Island
Nicole Harvey – Eastern North Island
Joshua Kirk – Upper South Island
Zac Johnston – Lower South Island

As part of the process, applicants were asked to identify what they see as the biggest challenge or opportunity in the food industry and what they would do about it.

The winners delivered ideas on a vast range of industry issues. These included a fresh look at dealing with biosecurity challenges, the development of food technology processes to extend the shelf life and flavour of red meat, exploring ways to sustainably add value to farming businesses, selling the story of New Zealand’s natural ‘artisan agriculture’ to the world, as well as challenging the industry to think big and be bold.