Nicole Morris is the Senior Agronomist at Midlands Seed Ltd, Mid Canterbury. She is responsible for the Midlands Seed field research team and the trials undertaken on the seed production crops for export. This involves evaluating ways to produce high quality seed which is economic and sustainable. Midlands produces 40% of the worlds hybrid carrot seed and deals with 23 different crops, including high value vegetable seeds. Nicoles role has a heavy science component with a focus on plant physiology, pathology and entomology.
Nicole grew up on a sheep and beef breeding and finishing farm in South Otago. She spent five years at Lincoln, completing an undergraduate degree and then got the opportunity to complete a Master of Agricultural Science in Pasture Agronomy. Her thesis was on finding the optimum pastoral options for dryland sheep farmers in Canterbury, which included components such as dry matter production, persistence, botanical composition, water use efficiency, nutritive value and insect pressure.
Nicole worked for PGG Wrightson Seeds in the research division while she was completing her post-graduate study, which led onto her first full time job with them in the Waikato as a Forage Agronomist. Following this, Nicole spent four years in the maize industry with Pioneer. "I have been lucky enough to travel to Japan on an industry scholarship and also the USA for work, visiting large scale cropping and dairy farms in the American Mid-West."
In the past three years, Nicole has authored three research papers for the New Zealand Grassland Association and Agronomy Society. This has provided the exposure to some of NZ’s top agricultural scientists, consultants and farmers, who are full of new and challenging ideas.
"I do it because I am passionate about science, farm systems, problem solving, and increasing productivity and profitability for farmers. I love the process and challenge of what I do and I am a firm believer that you get out what you put in. I'm just lucky I'm in a part of the industry which will be constantly changing with technology and consumer demand - so there will always be something new to research and learn!"
We agree Nicole, that what you only get out what you put in. What a great way to approach your life and you certainly have stuck to that with your hard work resulting in such success! Hats off to you.