Ducks Unlimited
Thursday, 23 August 2018 21:25

Dan (the Blue Duck man) Steele

Written by Liz Brooke
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Ducks Unlimited director Dan Steele, is one of this year’s five Nuffield New Zealand Scholarship winners.

In the past 60 years this award has provided the opportunity for a select group of young rural New Zealanders to have a life changing experience. Overseas travel, study the latest developments in agricultural countries, along with the opportunity to meet leaders and decision makers.
 
Dan, a farmer and conservationist, said he intends to focus on Brand New Zealand. He wants the chance to promote NZ products because they are the best. Strengthening rural towns and involving communities in conservation to build the belief there is value in looking after our own environment is one of his aims. 
 
Dan already has overseas experiences, but for many years now has been running his property Blue Duck Station. The 1460ha sheep and beef station and the conservation projects also involved there, include working with his parents on their neighbouring Retruke Station, building his Blue Duck Lodge in 2005 and founding Wild Journeys commercial jet boats partnership.
 
Preserving native bird species, particularly blue duck and kiwi, retiring or planting steep and marginal land, improving water quality and trees for bees, increasing manuka/bush honey production and creating a place for guests to stay and be involved with the land.
 
A most important partnership is with his wife, Sandy Waters and their two children. And if all that was not enough Dan is also involved with Ruapehu Regional Tourism, Ducks Unlimited, Wetland Care and Whanganui National Park Conservation and Historic Preservation Trust.
 
Other Nuffield winners this year are:
  • Bede O’Connor, a West Coast dairy farmer.
  • Ben Allomes, Woodville dairy farmer.
  • Satwant Singh who is part of the Fonterra Commodity Risk and Trading team and also works on her family dairy farm near Morrinsville.
  • And finally Sharon Morrell a regional leader with Dairy NZ based in Rotorua.
 
 
Lord Nuffield was William Morris, founder of Morris Motors. He was a philanthropist and initiated a travelling scholarship scheme for British and Empire farmers.
 
Nuffield wanted to recognise their contribution to feeding the nation during the war and the scholarship was a way of promoting agricultural best practice around the world.
 
Seven countries are part of the scheme, and award between 50 to 60 scholarships to young agriculturalists each year.
 
 
 

 

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