Meet the 2024 Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholars.

Carlos Bagrie

Carlos Bagrie has been across multiple ends of food production and the value chain, including primary production, distribution, retail and media.

He recently founded Royalburn Station, a renowned high-country farm that has carved a niche for itself by distributing premium quality food to some of New Zealand’s top-tier restaurants.

Carlos further diversified influence in the food sector when he co-founded My Food Bag. This innovative food distribution company helps answer the ‘what’s for dinner?’ question for tens of thousands of Kiwis every week. During the COVID lockdowns, Carlos played director and videographer, filming TV1’s hit ‘Nadia’s Comfort Kitchen’ on his iPhone.

In 2022, Carlos found himself in front of the cameras on TV3’s ‘Nadia’s Farm’, a TV show that highlighted the intricacies of farm life and food production at scale.

Alongside his wife, Carlos delved into the world of books and media. Together, Carlos and Nadia self-published a series of Number 1 best-selling cookbooks that resonated with home cooks.

Carlos can usually be found on the farm, either in the butchery, on the combine harvester, or moving mobs of sheep across the property. 

“I’m humbled to be selected as a Nuffield Scholar and will be focussing my research on circular farming systems that reduce waste while improving the bottom line.”

For Rachel Baker, the Primary Sector is both a passion and growth enabler. Her path has always involved the people, communities and business of food production.

Rachel’s extensive professional experience includes working as a dairy veterinarian, a dairy farm systems consultant, sharemilker, dry stock farm owner, educator, and more recently, an asset manager for horticulture investment businesses. 

“While being relatively new to horticulture, my role as Portfolio Manager of MyFarm Investments’ Hawke’s Bay apple syndicates, has enabled me to learn, understand and challenge the grower model. I have been involved with development and management of 100ha of Rockit® plantings in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne.”

Rachel’s current governance experience includes serving as a trustee of the Rockit Apple Growers Trust and directorships of horticulture and commercial property. Rachel is a 2016 Kellogg Scholar, a 2018 NZ Dairy Woman of the Year finalist and past Chair of the NZ Dairy Industry Awards. 

On Rachel’s proposed Nuffield research, she states, “My research topic will explore the impact, challenges and opportunities of existing and proposed global food strategies on food producers, with particular interest in the applications for New Zealand.”

Rachel’s recent focus has been the response and recovery of properties impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Rachel Baker

Jenna Smith

Jenna is the current Chief Executive of Pouarua – a diverse Māori Agribusiness encompassing Dairy, Arable, Beef and Horticulture on the Hauraki Plains.

Jenna serves as a trustee for DWN, on the board of BEL Group and chairs St Francis Catholic School in Thames.

Jenna has extensive corporate agriculture experience across Waikato, Canterbury, Otago and Southland, having previously worked for SOE Pāmu, and syndicated overseas investment farming portfolios. During this time, she has always “kept a gumboot in the grass” through her and her husband’s farming businesses.

Leading Pouarua Farms to be awarded as finalists in the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy for excellence in Māori Farming in 2021, Jenna was also named a finalist in the 2021 Zanda McDonald Award which recognises talent and passion for Agriculture across Australia and New Zealand.

“I am looking to study economically and sustainably viable alternate land uses for lowlands and peatlands that are highly susceptible to climatic pressures.”

Passionate about creating environmentally sustainable agribusinesses – Jenna regularly contributes to advisory boards for MfE, MBIE and MPI.

Peter Templeton is a 5th generation dairy farmer based on the south coast of Southland. 32 years old, Peter is passionate about southland dairy farming.

Peter has been dairy farming for 11 seasons, working his way up from 2IC to farm manager before returning to the family farm in 2016. Peter began his ownership journey as a 50/50 sharemilker for five seasons, before leasing the farm for two seasons and finally owning the farm in August 2023.

Peter is interested in focusing on the future of farming, what it is likely to look like on an individual farm basis – in particular on new technologies to implement on farm.

“I am always curious to see other systems and challenging myself to see what I could use in my own environment.”

Peter also states he is excited to see and gain a better understanding of New Zealand’s value chains, understand how they intend to innovate to compete.

Peter Templeton

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