Agri-event to strengthen links between research and industry

26 May 2015

Louis Schipper
Speaking at the Agri-event, Professor Louis Schipper will discuss how we can improve the environmental outcomes of farming.

On the eve of Fieldays, the University of Waikato will host agri-stakeholders at an event to showcase its latest research and strengthen links with the agricultural industry. It features a presentation on the importance of soils, a panel discussion on agribusiness and working with Waikato, and the presentation of the 2015 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Llewellyn Scholarship prize.

The importance of soils

University of Waikato soil expert, Professor Louis Schipper, will discuss how we can improve the environmental outcomes of farming by looking at the use of soils to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and approaches to help reduce nitrogen losses to waterways.

"We must remember that 95% of our food comes from soil. The United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils, so it's become more important than ever before to look after this resource," says Professor Schipper.

Professor Schipper will discuss excess production of greenhouse gases and nitrogen losses as they relate to planetary boundaries, which is a framework proposed by earth scientists led by the Australian National University and University of Copenhagen and shows the impact of human actions on global environmental change.

"Planetary boundaries is a term we're going to hear a lot more about in the near future," he says.

Professor Schipper and his team address two of the planetary boundaries: capturing greenhouse gasses and excess nitrogen, and he says it's essential they collaborate with industry to tackle these issues.

"The interest and resources of industry is critical for resolving these issues and informing the direction of our research," he says.

An Agribusiness discussion

The University's professor in Agribusiness, Jacqueline Rowarth, will also host a panel discussion with members from the agribusiness sector at the event with a focus on the benefits of working with Waikato.

Scholarship presentation

This year's New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Llewellyn Scholarship winner, Danielle Lelievre, will receive her scholarship at the event. Danielle has been awarded $22,000 of funding from the New Zealand National Fieldays Society to support her Masters research into the development of flavour in the G3 cultivar of kiwifruit.


The Agri-event will be held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Tuesday 9 June, 5.30 – 7.30pm. Researchers and others with an interest in the agri-sector are invited to register online here.

Waikato at Fieldays

The University of Waikato will feature its latest research and innovation at the 2015 National Agricultural Fieldays, 10 – 13 June at Mystery Creek. This year's theme is 'Growing our capability in Agribusiness', and the University is welcoming the opportunity to highlight its mutually beneficial links with industry, and how those links are assisting in the development of ground-breaking agricultural innovation.

For more information on the University of Waikato's involvement at Fieldays, Click here