We began our day with a hot breakfast at the Lodge in Methven before getting on the bus and traveling to Inverary Station. Upon arrival, we met John Chapman, the farm owner, and learned some history about the farm’s strong wool and angus beef production. Mr. Chapman had some questions of his own for us regarding trends, difficulties, and solutions we see in the future of agriculture. It was interesting to see how Mr. Chapman’s farming experience and opinions compared with agricultural production in the United States. Mr. Chapman relies on technology to monitor the emotional and phsyical stress of his sheep, which ensures that the end product is of very high quality. Inverary Station also gave us an opportunity to learn more about the importance of irrigation for many New Zealand farmers.
After leaving Inverary Station we stopped for a quick cup of coffee to warm us up, and then it was off to our next destination. We met with Mr. Smith, whose family works in the commercial seed production business. The Glebe contracts with companies to produce seeds for less popular crops, like wheat, barley, and grasses. After an explanation of the business, we were taken on a short bus tour of the production fields. The company utilizes irrigation for their fields to ensure good yields. We made a short stop for lunch in Methven before traveling to the afternoon’s visits.
We visited New Zealand Agriseeds and met with Michael Hales. While there the group was given a presentation on the process that a new hybrid goes through to be produced. Once the presentation was finished, Michael raffled off a pair of “The” muck boots of New Zealand. Congrats to Sara! The group went on a tour of part of the facilities. Since it had recently rained, we were unable to tour the fields. However, we were able to see the packaging facility and the greenhouses.
Following our visit to New Zealand Agriseeds, we visited Lincoln University in Christchurch, where we met up with some Young Farmers who gave us a brief tour of the university before we stopped at the Lincoln University Dairy Farm. There we got to hear from the operations manager, who gave us a brief overview on how the farm operated, and what they studied there, as well as learning how the farm kept a lot of other research farms for Lincoln University running. After this brief talk, we did a walk-through of their milking shed before heading to a social with Lincoln University’s Young Farmer’s club.
After the social, we moved to our accommodations for the night, the pods in Christchurch’s Jucy Snooze. We had a free evening to find dinner and explore the area before heading to bed to rest up for the packed day tomorrow!