Lincoln University Honours student Victoria Shaw has recently secured her dream job working for national sustainable fertiliser company Abron, in Canterbury.
Victoria was shortlisted from more than 100 applicants, and was delighted to be the top candidate.
From November, the talented student will be working as a regional Soil Nutrition Consultant for Abron. After completing some Abron training, she will be visiting farms in Canterbury, conducting soil tests and working with farmers to help them improve the biological activity of their soils and increase pasture performance.
“Abron wants to support farmers in improving not only their profit and production, but their sustainability, meaning that environmental best practice is an important long-term goal,” says Victoria.
Abron promotes a holistic approach to soils by combining the best conventional and biological fertiliser inputs to get optimal outcomes for the farm.
Victoria’s interest in agriculture was sparked at an early age on the family farm. At Lincoln University, her studies have combined her passions for agriculture, science and the environment.
For now, the undergraduate student is busy finishing her Honours research project with Professor Steve Wratten in the Bio-Protection Research Centre at Lincoln University.
They are researching techniques to improve growth of the giant grass, miscanthus, which is being trialled as a shelterbelt on dairy farms because it is flexible enough to let centre pivot irrigators pass through it.
Miscanthus has already been shown to improve pasture growth, soil quality, and to increase the numbers of beneficial insects on dairy farms. The giant grass can also be used as a source of renewable fuel, animal feed or bedding.
She is investigating whether a beneficial fungus can help to enhance growth and performance of the grass under drought conditions.
“The greatest thing I’ve learnt from my project is that there is always a constant opportunity to learn and research,” says Victoria.