Ben was raised on his family’s Wairarapa hill country sheep and beef cattle farm. He is now based in Wellington working for Beef + Lamb New Zealand as a senior analyst, still near the farm and often back home to work.
After working in research and conservation roles in New Zealand, USA and Panama, Ben completed his PhD investigating eco-system services. Ben worked for the Ministry for Primary Industries in biosecurity policy before joining Beef + Lamb New Zealand.
With New Zealand’s agriculture export-focused, improving the diversity of markets can help to minimise volatility and maximise highest value outcomes. There are markets that have traditionally used sheep products that maybe under-utilised by New Zealand. Ben is interested in researching this during his scholarship.
Mat’s report aims to provide a model for generating and capturing ideas to solve the wicked problems of food and agriculture.
The key element to solving this is bringing to bear the focus, passion, practical application and entrepreneurial drive of our farmers and growers. The innovation model needs to put them at the centre and build an innovation consciousness amongst our farmers and growers.
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