Great ideas and a passion for the agricultural sector has landed one young farmer with a scholarship.

George Blyth, originally from Canterbury, is studying at Jeff Farm between Mataura and Clinton.

Jeff Farm is a 2424ha property for training the next generation of farmers.

The scholarship from Silver Fern Farms meant Mr Blyth has an extra $5000 in his pocket, but to gain it he had to think of a big idea for New Zealand's red meat industry.


Mr Blyth's idea was to re-model New Zealand's traditional cow breeding systems so that the cows are able to successfully produce twins rather than just singles.

"Lamb scanning used to be only 100%, whereas now people scan over 150%, and there's no reason why it can't happen with calves."

He noted the challenges it would create and said it may or may not be achievable.

Silver Fern Farms' chief executive Simon Limmer said he was delighted to see the passion young New Zealanders have shown for the red meat industry through the applications submitted to the annual scholarship programme.

"We want to thank all applicants for entering the plate to pasture youth scholarships. The calibre of the entries was high and showed great initiative and insights into our industry, at all levels."

Gaining the scholarship also involved a trip to Rotorua to attend the Silver Fern Farms' conference which Mr Blyth said was a "really cool experience".

Mr Blyth wasn't originally from a farming background but said he had always been interested in it and after work experience in his final year at school, decided it was something he definitely wanted to do.

He said he had really enjoyed farming so far and the scholarship money would go towards getting a diploma in agriculture. He also had big plans for the future.

"At the moment I'm focusing on building up a team of dogs and hopefully getting a high country job once I finish studying ... A long-term goal for me would be a manager's role or even farm management, but that's a long way off yet."

One of Mr Blyth's favourite parts of farming was working with his dogs, "it's fun and rewarding and they're very valuable when they're going well."

Jeff Farm has been owned by the Salvation Army since 1952 when it was set up as a training farm for youth.

For the past 17 years Liz and John Chittock have managed the farm which runs 30,000 stock units of sheep, beef and deer.

Mr Chittock said before he managed the training farm he had lots of involvement with sports teams and young people, so jumped at the opportunity.

He sent himself along with other senior staff to do the training, and the course ran over two years.

Each year there would be six cadets on the farm with three new cadets coming on while three others would move on after completion of the course.

Mr Chittock said they had a lot of young men and women through the course and it was rewarding to see how much they learned.

"The phone's always going ... after a couple of years and when they have a few dogs they're very sought-after young people."

He said when new cadets came they started at the beginning of January, which was a busy time of year.

"They certainly hit the ground running."

"Even if someone hasn't come from a farming background they will learn very quickly if they're passionate."