Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships provide support to young people who want a future in the food and farming industry. Since the programme launched two years ago, Silver Fern Farms has invested $60,000 to further the careers of young people, helping to develop their careers and capabilities in the red meat sector.

In 2019 we are continuing our commitment to investing in our future red meat sector leaders and recognising and rewarding excellence emerging in our communities.

Scholarship applications are now open to people wanting to develop their career in the food or farming industry with interests in; red meat, farming, agriculture, marketing and sales, research and development, sustainability, food processing, cooking and food technology. Download the Scholarship application form here.

This year we will be asking applicants to explore the issues of sustainability in the red meat sector and find out their solutions for on farm, processing and in market. We look forward to seeing fresh perspectives that challenge and inspire us.

  • 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 in Christchurch in July
  • Recipients will receive flights, accommodation and attendance to Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Farmer Conference
  • 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
    • Judges Choice


20th June

• Entries to Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships close
• Winners to be chosen by a panel of judges

8th July

• Silver Fern Farms Youth Scholarship winners will be advised that they have been successful

30th July/1st August

• Winners attend Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Farmer Conference in July and receive their Youth Scholarship



Scholarship Criteria

  • Applications must be received by 5.00pm Thu 20 June via email to
  • Scholarship applications are invited from anyone aged between 17 and 25 with one year’s industry experience or tertiary education. 
  • Applicants must have the support of one Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Shareholder who can act as a referee
  • 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 food industry. For example, studying at polytechnic, university, a farm cadet programme or a food science course or culinary design school
  • Recipients must provide proof that the funds have been spent according to the criteria
  • Applicants need to have a good academic record, good interpersonal skills and a passion for food and the red meat industry
  • Recipients must agree to stay in touch with Silver Fern Farms to update on their achievements

Applying for the scholarship

  • Complete the application form and return to by 5pm Thu 20th June
  • Arrange for a Silver Fern Farm Shareholder to support your application (contact Sharon O’Loughlin if you require an introduction)
  • Applicants may be required to attend an interview either in person or by phone or video conference as part of the selection process (NB: at Silver Fern Farms’ cost).

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 scholarships selection committee made up of representatives from Silver Fern Farms and the Co-operation.

Selection Criteria

A number of criteria guide our 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, Plate to Pasture
  • Evidence of understanding of New Zealand’s food industry
  • Agreement to attend the Plate to Pasture Farmer Forum in Christchurch in July to improve understanding of Silver Fern Farms

For any further information or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Download Application Form


Youth Scholarship Winners 2018

Six inspirational young people from around New Zealand have been named as the Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships recipients for 2018. Each winner received $5000 to further their careers in the red meat sector.

This year applicants were asked to describe their ‘Big Idea’ for the red meat industry, as well as naming three challenges or opportunities they believe are important to the sector. Their answers ranged from developing niche markets for toddlers and the elderly, re-modelling traditional cow breeding programmes and engaging with the education sector to encourage young New Zealanders to look at our industry for careers.

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

Chloe Saxton - Upper North Island
Monique Yule - Western North Island
Lucy Hewitt - Eastern North Island
Louise Schwass - Upper South Island
George Blyth - Lower South Island
Chloe Hannah – Judges Choice