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Academic named inaugural New Zealand Fellow for services in Agribusiness

Professor in Farm and Agribusiness Management Nicola Shadbolt.

The International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) has awarded their first New Zealand Fellow; Professor Nicola Shadbolt.

Her longstanding history with the organisation scales back more than 20 years, and includes her roles as a chairperson, moderator, or presenter of research papers (both her own and on behalf of international postgraduate students who have returned home) at the annual International Food and Agribusiness Management Association conferences.

The Professor in Farm and Agribusiness Management has also served on the organisation’s board for nine years and has been an active judge of the annual global case study competitions.

IFAMA Fellows Chair President Emeritus Walter Armbruster acknowledged Professor Shadbolt in a virtual message at this year’s conference.

“Nicola has made a mark in the agribusiness sector in New Zealand and internationally. She has demonstrated distinguished achievement in the fields of food and agribusiness management in New Zealand and internationally. She is well deserving of being an IFAMA Fellow.”

Professor Shadbolt says it is an honour to be named a Fellow and says the networking of people has been one aspect she has loved gaining from her services.

“You develop a great network of people from both other academic institutes and agribusiness companies. You see the same people each year and you get to understand their countries and issues and you identify similarities and differences to New Zealand. This helps expand your thinking in terms of where we fit in, where we can play and what our opportunities are. It’s a constant refresh of what's going on in the world of global agribusiness proving always useful to me as an academic and in my other roles.”

Since 2008, Professor Shadbolt has enjoyed being one of the managing editors of their journal International Food and Agribusiness Management Review. “Some years I have many papers to review but it's interesting as every time you're reading what’s going on in agribusiness and food somewhere in the world, and it all adds to that body of knowledge.”

She has had many papers published as an academic and in 2020 gained another achievement by receiving the IFAMA best paper competition award as a co-author.

One of her more recent involvements has been alongside colleague Dr Elena Garnevska from the School of Agriculture and Environment. Together they have coached teams of graduates for the global case study competition and travelled abroad with them to various locations around the world.

She says those she has met during her time with the organisation have influenced the research both she and her students carry out, and it provides context to the conversations they have in class and ensures she is providing students with an up-to-date global perspective.

“We keep telling out students over 90 per cent of everything we produce gets exported so New Zealand is global by default. Everything we do has to be connected to what is happening in the world. We feed 40 million people, so we need to know what those people want, how they want it, where they want it and what their changing needs are; and it all segues back to New Zealand and how we then change our systems for the better.”

Among her other accomplishments, Professor Shadbolt was also awarded Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to agribusiness in 2018.

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