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Leading agriculture researcher Professor Paul Kenyon will take up a new scientist in residence role at Massey’s Riverside Farm in the Wairarapa region.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Robert Anderson says Paul Kenyon, a Professor of Sheep Husbandry, will lead a new research strategy and community engagement programme at the 686-hectare property owned by the Sydney Campbell Foundation and leased by Massey University.
Professor Anderson says Professor Kenyon’s appointment will ensure the research programme at Riverside remains relevant to Wairarapa, is internationally reputable and, above all, reflective of the over-arching need for profitable and sustainable farming systems in New Zealand.
“Professor Kenyon has a senior role in the University’s world-class sheep research group that is recognised internationally for its discoveries,” Professor Anderson says. “He is ideally-equipped for the scientist in residence role as he regularly interacts with his peers from leading overseas universities and has a proven record for connecting with farmers and the leaders of various industry organisations.”
The new appointment is part of the University strategy to raise the level of engagement between academics and those with interest in its farms including industry, farmers and local communities.
Professor Kenyon says he is excited by the new role. “I know Riverside well – I did my PhD on the effect of mid-pregnancy shearing on lamb growth and survival at Riverside. Massey has important trials underway on that farm looking at the effect of different herbage mixes on lamb hogget growth and reproductive activity. We have electronically tagged the animals so we can monitor optimum live weights and conditions throughout the season. I am also looking forward to talking with farmers and groups in Wairarapa and my colleagues at Massey, particularly in soils and environmental science, about new programmes for Riverside.”
Work on Riverside’s overall research strategy is underway and will continue while Professor Kenyon is on a five-month sabbatical with the Western Australia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Professor Kenyon will be in regular contact with his Massey colleagues and lead the work while also ensuring Massey and Riverside have the latest findings on herbages for dry land environments.