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Agrifood at Massey

Massey University is proud to be New Zealand’s top ranked university in agriculture and among the very best universities in the world.

Agrifood comprises highly innovative and important industries that span the food value chain from molecule to mouth. Massey University's integrated expertise in agrifood positions us to play a key role in solving world issues like population expansion, pandemics, global warming, and food security.

We ensure our latest findings are part of our comprehensive teaching programmes at all levels from undergraduate degrees to post-graduate qualifications and in professional development courses.

Massey partners with companies, industries, communities, local and central governments and international agencies to help find solutions. Our flexibility, breadth of capability across the food value chain and our connectedness throughout the world helps us assemble the best expertise.

You and your role, or your future role, in New Zealand’s primary industries is also an important part of Massey. It is our connectedness that helps us be the best.

Join us in growing the agrifood economy.

Accreditations Accreditations

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Quacquarelli Symonds Agriculture and Forestry

Massey University ranks 33rd for agriculture in the Quacquarelli Symonds’ world university subject rankings.

Quacquarelli Symonds Veterinary Science

Massey University's veterinary school is ranked first in the world by employers, and we rank 15th for veterinary science in the latest university subject rankings from Quacquarelli Symonds.

Quacquarelli Symonds Accounting and Finance

Massey University ranks in the top 100 in the world for accounting and finance in the latest university subject rankings from Quacquarelli Symonds.

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Programmes Programmes

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Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours

Master of Agriculture

Graduate Diploma in Business Studies (Rural Valuation)

Bachelor of Natural Sciences

Bachelor of Veterinary Science

Bachelor of Veterinary Technology

Bachelor of Business Studies (Accountancy)

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Master of Applied Statistics

Master of Design

Master of Food Technology

Master of Science

Master of Supply Chain Management

Master of Veterinary Medicine

Master of Veterinary Studies

Master of Veterinary Science

Postgraduate Diploma in Science

Customised courses

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People People

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Projects Projects

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Massey Facilities Massey Facilities

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Te Puna Whakatipu

Te Puna Whakatipu is a small team within Massey that leads and develops strategic initiatives in the agrifood business space.

It focuses on identifying the big issues where Massey expertise can add value, helps source funding and assembles the best people to deliver on projects that transform the agrifood economy in New Zealand and internationally.

Agricultural Experiment Station

Massey's Agricultural Experiment Station is an international centre of excellence for on-farm teaching and research.

The University sustainably farms 2,000 hectares with 12,000 sheep, 1,000 beef cattle, 1,100 dairy cows and 170 deer, and has a mixed enterprise/grazing/cropping unit.

Find out more about our facilities, capabilities and services by visiting the Massey Agricultural Experiment Station on massey.ac.nz.

Massey University veterinary animal services

Massey’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital is a state-of-the-art facility offering New Zealand’s most comprehensive veterinary expertise. Final-year veterinary undergraduates work alongside senior clinical staff with postgraduate specialist training and extensive experience to provide the best possible animal care to the community.

We provide veterinary services to the public via our companion animal hospital, equine hospital, farm services clinic, wildlife hospital, and vet referrals.

Equine parentage and animal genetics services centre

Massey University's equine parentage and animal genetics services centre provides DNA-based genetic testing services to enhance the health, welfare and productivity of domestic animals and wildlife.

Tests are available for a range of species, including horses, cattle, sheep, dogs and birds, and our services are available to the equine and beef industries, breed societies and individual animal owners.

We are recognised by the International Society of Animal Genetics.

Equine parentage and animal genetics services centre

Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre

Massey's Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre (FLRC) provides practical solutions to problems and issues in the primary production sectors of New Zealand, and mechanisms for information transfer between science, industry, policy and regulatory bodies concerned with primary production.

Services include professional development short courses tailored to the needs of science, industry, policy and regulatory bodies concerned with primary production, consultation on a wide range of issues, and a comprehensive analytical service for soil, plant, water (including effluent) and fertiliser materials.

Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre

Riddet Institute

The Riddet Institute is a premier centre for fundamental and strategic scientific research.

Its area of expertise is at the intersection of food material science, novel food processing, human nutrition and gastrointestinal biology.

Riddet Institute

International Sheep Research Centre

The International Sheep Centre comprises a network of research providers and industry groups in New Zealand and internationally undertaking quality research consistent with the needs of the Sheep Industry, advancing scientific knowledge of sheep production, welfare, health and biology.

Based at Massey University in the North Island of New Zealand, the International Sheep Centre has access to over 1000 hectares of university land near the campus, providing unsurpassed opportunities to conduct cost-effective research into pastoral sheep production and health.

International Sheep Research Centre

Centre of Excellence for Farm Business Management

Massey University is home to the Centre of Excellence for Farm Business Management, which provides training and professional development, and scholarship opportunities, and undertakes a wealth of research that aims to challenge current thinking, explore new technologies and identify practices and tools to increase farm management capability.

Also known as OneFarm, the Centre is a joint venture between Massey and Lincoln Universities, made possible by the support and funding of DairyNZ and the Primary Growth partnership.


Centre of Excellence for Farm Business Management

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News News

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Biofilms in the dairy industry

Recent high-profile contamination scares within the international food industry have highlighted the need for best practice when it comes to dairy manufacturing. After 15 years of research into dairy biofilms, there is now a cornerstone publication for a better understanding of the current science, and ways to reduce the occurrence of biofilms associated with dairy manufacturing.

Biofilms in the dairy industry

Recent high-profile contamination scares within the international food industry have highlighted the need for best practice when it comes to dairy manufacturing. After 15 years of research into dairy biofilms, there is now a cornerstone publication for a better understanding of the current science, and ways to reduce the occurrence of biofilms associated with dairy manufacturing.

Biofilms in the Dairy Industry provides a comprehensive overview of biofilm-related issues currently facing the New Zealand and international dairy sector.

The book presents potential solutions for reducing contamination throughout the manufacturing process. While the dairy industry has grown in size, sophistication and quality to satisfy a growing international demand for dairy products, contamination remains a major risk.

The ultimate origin of most micro-organisms capable of producing biofilms is the raw milk. However, the conditions found throughout the manufacturing process provide specific niches that are ideal for the growth of biofilms that provide a source of contamination for dairy products. This book represents the result of 15 years of research into those issues, and involved researchers from Massey University, University of Otago, AUT, and Plant and Food Research.

Massey University Professor of Food Safety and Microbiology Steve Flint has had a long and successful career in both academia and in the dairy manufacturing industry. John Brooks, Professor of Food and Microbiology at AUT, is one of New Zealand’s most respected food safety experts. Koon Hoong Teh is a PhD graduate from Massey University and is the chief editor of this book. Together with other academics, and a group of collaborative experts, the authors have meshed their experiences and expertise to create a comprehensive book on dairy biofilms.

Professor Flint says, “The intention is that this book will be a useful resource for the dairy industry to help them meet customer specifications for quality product, and to improve their efficiency in dairy manufacture.”

Dairy industry managers, researchers and students will find Biofilms in the Dairy Industry useful in providing a fundamental understanding of problems relating to biofilms in the dairy industry and offering some solutions and suggestions for improvement in managing dairy manufacturing plants.


Published September 8, 2015

Cow GPS aids sustainable grazing research

Scientists from Massey University have confirmed what farmers have known for years –cows do not like to walk uphill.

The research is part of an ongoing project funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand to investigate more sustainable farming practices for managing beef cows on hill country and around waterways.

Cow GPS aids sustainable grazing research

Scientists from Massey University have confirmed what farmers have known for years –cows do not like to walk uphill.

The research is part of an ongoing project funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand to investigate more sustainable farming practices for managing beef cows on hill country and around waterways.

Dr Rebecca Hickson, Dr Ina Draganova and Professor Steve Morris monitored Angus, Angus cross Friesian and Angus cross Jersey cows over two consecutive winters at Massey University’s Tuapaka farm (part of the Massey University Agricultural Experiment Station) to get baseline measures of how the beef cows used the 8 to 12 ha paddocks.

The research found that, even in extensive hill country paddocks, cows avoided walking uphill. Of the 3 kilometres they walked each day, less than 300 metres was uphill. Instead the cows followed the contours of the hills and concentrated their grazing on the flatter areas. The movement of the cows was largely unaffected by cold, wet weather.

Despite this energy-saving pattern of movement, maintenance requirements of the cows increased by about 15 per cent to meet their energy needs for walking. This reinforced existing estimates of feed requirements used for beef cows grazing in hill country.

The team say this research confirms what farmers already know about feed requirements and grazing habits but gives them a baseline measure to work with. From here, the researchers will be manipulating where cows are fed supplements to see if this encourages them to use different areas of the pasture.


Published on August 26, 2015

Winning PhD thesis links poisoned pigs to droopy dogs

A veterinary scientist’s PhD thesis investigating the link between poisoned plant-eating pigs and a mystery canine disorder has won the Massey University Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) finals held today at the Manawatū campus.

Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences student Hayley Hunt took out the top prize for the doctoral category in the 3MT contest.

Winning PhD thesis links poisoned pigs to droopy dogs

A veterinary scientist’s PhD thesis investigating the link between poisoned plant-eating pigs and a mystery canine disorder has won the Massey University Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) finals held today at the Manawatū campus.

Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences student Hayley Hunt took out the top prize for the doctoral category in the 3MT contest.

She is investigating a rare disease in hunting dogs called Go Slow. The disease affects the dogs’ ability to walk by altering the mitochondria (energy-producing structures within cells), so that their muscles are no longer able to contract. She says the likely cause of the disease is dogs eating wild pig meat that has been poisoned when the pig eats particular plants. She is currently searching for “a needle in several haystacks” as she tries to identify which plant and toxin may be tainting the pig meat.

She was one of seven doctoral and four masterate finalists from the university's Auckland, Manawatū and Wellington campuses competing for the top prize at the finals held at the Manawatū campus on Tuesday.

Psychological resilience in people with blood cancer, antibiotic resistance, unravelling the mysteries of the intestine, and getting students to go outdoors were among the theses topics of her rivals.

The competition requires students to present their research to a lay audience with only a single PowerPoint slide for assistance – all in three minutes.


Published on August 21, 2015

Review tests leptospirosis vaccination success

Massey University scientists have been awarded $480,000 to find out whether the vaccination of dairy cattle against the bacterial disease leptospirosis has been fully effective.

Preliminary research suggests perhaps not, and the independent not-for-profit Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust and the Sustainable Farming Fund of the Ministry for Primary Industries, will fund three years of further research to verify this and determine what can be done better in future.

The funding recipients are scientists from the Farmer Leptospirosis Action Group, who will quantify vaccine programme efficiency in dairy herds across New Zealand by collecting blood and urine samples from animals and questioning farmers about their vaccination practices. They will then develop best practice guidelines for the industry.

Group member Professor Cord Heuer, from the University's Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, says vaccination programmes were probably compromised by timing and incorrect on-farm management of vaccination. “By interviewing farms, collecting samples and other information we can find out exactly why [it was not effective],” Professor Heuer says.

A significant component of the project will involve making the guidelines and recommendations from the research readily available to farmers, veterinarians and industry stakeholders through the Know Lepto website, a DVD and professional meetings.

Professor Heuer says people across the dairy industry will benefit from the research. “We expect people to respond well to the research. There’s already high awareness and use of vaccines and ongoing marketing campaigns.

“This research is a major contribution to the improvement of vaccination practices of dairy cattle. It will have implications for animal health and welfare as well as occupational safety and health of farmers, farm workers and professionals working in the dairy and allied industry.”

The Leptospirosis Research Group includes world leaders in leptospirosis disease and diagnosis research Dr Jackie Benschop, Dr Julie-Collins-Emerson, Professor Peter Wilson and Professor Heuer.

Published on June 30, 2015. Image courtesy of Daniel Rowe.

Review tests leptospirosis vaccination success

Massey University scientists have been awarded $480,000 to find out whether the vaccination of dairy cattle against the bacterial disease leptospirosis has been fully effective.

Review tests leptospirosis vaccination success

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