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Richard Pedley

Organic Agriculture Lecturer

A photograph of Richard Pedley, organic agriculture lecturer at UCOL

Raised in rural New Zealand, Richard Pedley has spent his years asking questions about and exploring the natural world.

Richard is particularly interested in ecology and working towards a model of sustainable agriculture.

It’s fitting then that in 2017 Richard joined the UCOL teaching team to develop and teach the New Zealand Certificate in Organic Primary Production

“With this programme I hope to encourage more people to adopt farming practices that provide an abundance of nutrient-dense and organic food in a way that harmonises with the natural environment and improves soil health,” says Richard.

Richard started his career as a Research Technician for Plant & Food Research, looking at methods of biological pest control in horticulture. 

He then went on to obtain a Master of Science in Ecology from Massey University. Richard’s research looked at the effectiveness of different biological controls he had discovered in the field, and how they could be incorporated into pest management programmes in New Zealand.

Richard brings over a decade of teaching experience to UCOL, having previously taught secondary school science, biology, agriculture and horticulture in both New Zealand and Australia.  

In recent years Richard has explored how to bring his background in ecology into education programmes focused on sustainable agriculture. This has included developing education programmes at Freyberg High School, Rangitikei College, and Wanganui Collegiate School. 

“I see the future of farming as being about creating diverse and inter-connected systems that replicate natural ecosystems and provide an abundance of healthy food without a negative impact on the environment,” he says.

“I hope within my lifetime to be able to see these types of landscapes emerge within our farming sector and position New Zealand as a global innovator in organic primary production.” 

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