Stories from South Island, PWE Scholarship Winner – Andrew Mansfield
My name is Andrew Mansfield, I am studying Agriculture in WIT, and for my second year work placement I went to a large scale dairy farm in New Zealand. I worked on the South Island milking 720 cows in a forty unit herringbone parlour. Between bringing in cows, milking and cleaning up afterwards the milking process took nearly seven hours in a day. Other daily tasks included moving irrigation, feeding out palm kernel and fencing.
The farm I was on was managed by a share milker who split the profit 50/50 with the land owner. I was working with three other workers on the farm who were all Filipinos. We were housed on the farm and I was sharing a house with one of the guys called Ogie. My roster was six days working and then two days off which gave me a good chance to explore NZ on the days I had off. I was lucky to meet other international workers too at Young Farmers meetings and travel to different shows and events with them.
I was in New Zealand up until the middle of May when the grass no longer was being irrigated, we were drying off cows and they were beginning to graze into the fodder beet. Overall I had a great experience, I got to see first hand the workings of a large scale dairy farm in NZ and see the different efficiencies that they focus on such as grassland management and disease prevention. I also got to meet a lot of new people with similar interests and ambitions which are now contacts that I will have for life. We got to explore New Zealand also and see the sites, a few of us even braved the famous NZ bungy jump in our travels. I would recommend to anyone with an interest in dairy to travel and work like I did in NZ, It has been without doubt a great experience.
Submitted by: Andrew Mansfield