Two former Dannevirke High School students awarded prestigious DairyNZ scholarships are testament to the quality of the education at the school.

Lucy Verwaayen and Hariru Hauraki have been awarded scholarships to study at Massey University this year by DairyNZ on behalf of the New Zealand dairy industry, two of the 55 students who have been successful to study at either Massey, Lincoln or Waikato Universities.

Lucy was in Year 13 and a prefect at the high school last year and Hariru the head girl in 2014.

"Lucy and Hariru will have their tuition fees paid to a maximum of $6325 and being selected is a great achievement for them and testament to the quality of the education at the Dannevirke High School," Susan Stokes, the DairyNZ education facilitator said.


"This scholarship will assist Lucy and Hariru to meet the costs of their university study and continues until their courses are complete, as long as their grades continue to be acceptable."

Lucy, 18, the daughter of Hennie and Kerri Verwaayen, has grown up on the family dairy farm at Oringi and she told the Dannevirke News, farm life had given her an insight into issues facing farmers.

"I'm going to do a double major, a Bachelor of Science and Animal Science and Genetics and I'm hoping to become a dairy nutritionist, specialising in animal science. I'd also like to do genetic laboratory research on ways to eradicate genetic defects in animals," she said.

Lucy said winning the scholarship takes away a lot of stress.

"It means my study loan will be a bit smaller, but I'll be looking for practical work in the holidays to back up my studies."

Hariru spent her first year at Waikato University and high school principal Dawid de Villiers said the business side of farming had called her.

"These two girls were both all-rounders and as a school we like to think we've contributed to their success, standing alongside them with their families," he said.

"Obviously the two have shown leadership skills early on which has been quite important. Here at the high school we have service leadership, which in interviews and applications for positions, comes through and helps tick the boxes."

Dr de Villiers said for a middle-sized school such as Dannevirke High School to get two DairyNZ scholarships was impressive.

"We've also set quite a few NCEA records this year, so things are coming together well," he said.

Scholarship winners are mentored and supported through their university years and can expect to gain employment in a variety of positions, either on-farm or supporting the dairy industry.

"This significant support to outstanding young scholars is part of the dairy industry's drive to encourage talented, motivated people into the industry as future research scientists, farm advisers, farm managers, farm owners and rural professionals," Ms Stokes said.

Industry good levies, invested by DairyNZ, provide the money for the scholarships.

- The closing date for applications for next year's scholarships is December 7, this year. Information on DairyNZ scholarships, the application process and criteria required to qualify, can be found on the DairyNZ website, as well as Massey, Lincoln and Waikato University websites.