Hartpury student Lizzie follows her family roots with a New Zealand adventure


Former Hartpury agriculture student Lizzie Hole will continue her family legacy after winning a prestigious scholarship for a dream trip to New Zealand.

The Level 3 Extended Diploma Agriculture student, who comes from an agricultural family, will spend three months working at Limestone Downs, an 8,000 acre farm located on the New Zealand’s North Island, which is home to thousands of sheep and cattle. The scholarship, which is awarded by the C Alma Baker trust, covers all travel costs for the lucky few who will get to work in this picturesque location.

Lizzie said: “I’m so happy to get this chance to experience farming in such an amazing part of the world, especially as there was a lot of competition for places. Fortunately I made the shortlist and was interviewed by trustees at the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs head office in Warwickshire.”

Lizzie is no stranger to hard work as her family run a mixed arable, beef, sheep and dairy farm in Dorset. The farm was established by her grandfather, Guy, who originally comes from New Zealand and utilised contacts from the Federation of Young Farmers to help set up when moving to England over 50 years ago.

Inspired by her heritage Lizzie set her sights on an adventure further afield after completing her course at Hartpury. As an active Dorset Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) member she was eligible for a working scholarship in New Zealand, which was being offered by YFC Travel, and seized the opportunity.

She added: “It was a little nerve-racking but after a day of interviews four of us were chosen for the trip of a lifetime. I couldn’t quite believe it at first, and I can’t wait to get stuck into farming at Limestone Downs, which I hear even has three beaches!

“I’ll only be a few hours away from family that I have out in New Zealand and my grandfather is really pleased that I’m going. I’ll also get the chance to spend a month travelling across the country to see more of it when I’m done working.”

Limestone Downs Farm has hosted 120 young farmers over the years and the unique trip will reach its 30th anniversary in 2017. Lizzie will be the first of this year’s members to jet off as she starts her adventure in April.

Janatha Stout, Hartpury’s Director of Agriculture, said: “It’s always good to see former students going on to new and exciting things and I’m thrilled to hear that Lizzie secured the scholarship to travel to New Zealand. As a student she always brought enthusiasm and a can-do attitude to her work and I’m sure she will make the most of this special opportunity.”

The Hole family recently featured on BBC’s Countryfile where they showed how their love of photography had enabled them to document the history of the farm and described their latest wool venture. Lizzie also spoke to presenter Ellie Harrison about getting hands-on with lambing and her upcoming trip to New Zealand.

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