South Canterbury ag-student is finalist in Green Agriculture Innovation Award
Twenty-year old University student Genevieve Steven, of Timaru, is the winner of the Viafos Youth Award, putting her in
the running against nine other finalists as the supreme award winner of the inaugural Green Agriculture Innovation
Awards (GAIA) in New Zealand.
The youngest contender for the award, Ms Steven is in her second year at Lincoln University on a DairyNZ scholarship
studying biochemistry, animal sciences, plant sciences, soil science and management papers.
Her ultimate goal is a move into biological farming. “I would like to be an educator and advisor to farmers already
using the principles of biological farming, but also take the concept of ‘biological farming’ to those who don’t know
much about it. I enjoy the challenge of changing people’s perceptions.”
Ms Stevens’ interest in agriculture and biological farming stems from growing up on the family farm near Timaru and the
influence of her parents. In 2011 she attended a Get Ahead Careers Experience Day, which motivated her to start up the
Craighead TeenAg Club, encouraging more girls to get involved in agriculture.
While at the Craighead TeenAg Club Genevieve competed in the TeenAg Regional Final event, an annual national competition
combining both practical hands-on learning and theoretical components of agriculture. Genevieve is currently on the
Lincoln Young Farmers Club Education committee and is helping to set up a liaison programme between young farmers clubs
and TeenAg clubs in Christchurch, as well as working with Christchurch Girls and Boy’s High School TeenAg clubs.
Nicole Masters, agro ecologist and spokesperson for the Association of Biological Farmers, says the awards attracted
strong nominations across all categories, evidence that Biological Farming practice had gained a strong foothold
throughout New Zealand. The supreme winner will be announced at an awards dinner on the 6 August in Rotorua.
All the winners:
AwardWinnerViafos YouthGenevieve Steven, Lincoln UniversityTM Agricultural InnovationWairarapa Eco Farm, GreytownIntegrity Soils Biological Consultant of the YearRob Flynn, Soil Matters, AmberleyAgrisea DairyBio Farm. (Jamie & Cathy Tait Jamieson) Palmerston NorthBioAg PastoralDavid Crutchley, RanfurlyAg Solutionz TransitionWilliam Grigg, BlenheimSoil Food Web ViticultureBruce Nimon, HastingsRotorua DC Maori Producer of the YearKono Beverages, Mondo KpouaPaddock to PlateLindsay Road, WaipukurauBiosea HorticulturalWairarapa Eco Farm, Greytown