Lincoln connects business partners

26 February 2021 | Students News

A trio of Lincoln alumni and a current student are breaking new ground, growing and promoting hemp seeds for the New Zealand market

Mainland Hemp grows about 70 hectares of CRS1, a seed-producing variety, on several farms in Mid and North Canterbury. The business has recently built a commercial seed drying and oil extraction facility on a farm near Culverden.

Business partners Jamie Engelbrecht, Ben Crawford, Brad Lake and Dave Pringle all have Lincoln degrees and describe the network of people they met at university as invaluable.

Jamie completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) in 2013 and recently left his rural manager job to focus on the hemp growing and processing business.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Lincoln University and look back on it with fond memories. The ability to look at things critically and balance financial results with environmental and social outcomes are important skills that I have taken away from my study.

“Second to none, though, without a doubt, is the network of people that I met and I am lucky enough to now call a lot of them my mates. I know a bunch of great people pursuing exciting careers, right from the grassroots to the high rises all around the world. Quite a few of them I am working alongside.”

Ben holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and is now completing his Master’s degree.

“I really appreciate the accessibility of the lecturers. It's a huge advantage to have lecturers who are world leaders in their chosen fields and have an open door policy to any student. The people that I have met here have given me a great network of people that I can get in touch with, both inside and outside of the workplace.”

Brad Lake completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) in 2014.

“My time at Lincoln was life changing. Lincoln opened up opportunities to an industry and life I never would have been able to have otherwise. It gave me access to new careers and opportunities that really only an agricultural university can provide.

“Lincoln also provided a substantial and powerful network of friends that has ensured a much smoother and successful transition into a professional career in banking and then also moving on into starting a business and growing a company. The networks, education, hospitality and support of the university with a scholarship has set my life on a path I could have only dreamed about.”

Dave also holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) and was at Lincoln from 1987-91.      

“Lincoln University seems a distant memory now, but not what I learnt and the people that I met while I was there. The network that was created in my time at Lincoln in the late 80s and early 90s has proven to be invaluable, as has the grounding that I received in my time there.

“I continue to touch base with a lot of alumni colleagues throughout my career and it has helped me a lot in creating ongoing relationships within my own businesses, both present and historical.”



Image (from left, clockwise): Jamie Engelbrecht, Ben Crawford, Brad Lake and Dave Pringle.