Agricultural science student cultivating a bright future

20 June 2023 | News

Molly Donald’s enthusiasm for Lincoln University is infectious.

The third year student, originally from Dannevirke, grew up on a sheep and beef farm and says the setting at Lincoln is similar to where she went to school at Wairarapa College.

"It’s warm and homely and exactly where I want to be.

"As a kid, I remember asking Mum if there were any farming universities and she mentioned Lincoln," Molly says. "There was always the expectation that I would go to university, so I wanted to spread my wings by moving to the South Island.

"I’m so glad I decided to come here – I can’t imagine where I would be otherwise."

She loves the "community feel" at Lincoln and the "like-minded people" she has met.

"You’re not just a number and can have conversations with lecturers one on one. They’re there to help you and they want people to succeed," she says. 

Everyone’s here because they want to be, not because they have to be. It’s cool to be motivated by something bigger than yourself.

Due to her farming background and a love of science, Molly has been passionate about agriculture and production her entire life, so the Bachelor of Agricultural Science (with a minor in Marketing) was the perfect choice of degree for her.

"When I finish uni, I want to travel and become an agronomist," she says. "I decided to minor in marketing because I wanted to diversify my skill set. Marketing for smaller New Zealand agricultural businesses can challenging for people or business owners, so hopefully this aspect will make me more employable."

The Bachelor of Agricultural Science is a four-year degree and Molly hopes to do honours in 2024.

"I already know the topic I want to study – using diverse pasture species to reduce environmental impacts and increase productivity for farmers."

When she’s not studying, Molly enjoys playing hockey, having just made the div 1 team for Hornby. It was a pursuit she honed in the girls’ first XI at Wairarapa College, where she was also head girl and head girl of the boarding house.

"Playing sport is a great opportunity to take you away from study and give you a physical and mental break," she says.

Her love of extracurricular activities also extends to the Young Farmers Club. She’s been part of the Tasman regional executive and the Lincoln Young Farmers subcommittee for the past two years, and in 2023, she was voted onto the Lincoln executive.

Asked how she would advise prospective students considering Lincoln, Molly says, "don’t consider too much, just go for it". 

"Dive straight in! Lincoln Uni has so much to offer, so take all the opportunities and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I’m absolutely blown away by my experience so far and have never had any second thoughts after making my decision. The best advice I could give is to go for it."