Nigel claimed the title in the Manawatu after three days of competition.
He was awarded a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree in 2009 by Lincoln University. The 28-year-old Milton sheep and beef farmer said his study has had a huge influence on his career since.
“I chose Lincoln because it has a great reputation and graduates I had spoken to told me of the huge amount of fun that was had while studying.
“Banks and fertiliser companies, and other businesses were screaming out for agriculture graduates, so I knew I wouldn’t have any issues finding a good job at the end of my studies,” Nigel said.
His degree opened the door for him to work for Midlands Seed in Ashburton, firstly as a research assistant and then as a field consultant.
“It came about as one of my lecturers in a Plant Science class mentioned there was a good job going at Midlands working for one of his former pupils, so I applied and got the job.
“It gave me a great background understanding of all things agriculture and has allowed me to be in a great position to learn and understand new ideas.”
He singled out the field trips he did while studying at Lincoln as particularly rewarding.
“It was great to get out of the classroom and talk to actual farmers about actual farms and what goes on. There is so much to be learnt from the farmers that the trips were always a highlight and a great learning experience.
“The quality of lecturers was great too. I was lucky to have been taught by the likes of Dr Warwick Scott and Roger McLenaghen – those sort of guys are so knowledgeable and related so well to the students, it was great,” Nigel said
“I had a great time at Lincoln and met so many amazing people. It was a great experience and definitely set me up well for my career.”