Seventeen Murray State University students flew over 17,558 miles to study agriculture in New Zealand. To join this program students were selected from a pool of applicants. After acceptance into the program students began a half semester course to study the country before visiting.

Alexis Burnett, of Metropolis, was chosen to participate.

After flying into Auckland, the journey began at the Auckland War Memorial Museum to learn more about the Maori people and the natural history of New Zealand. After studying all semester, students gained firsthand experience of local culture.

Studying agriculture is very diverse down under, and students had the opportunity to experience numerous operations. In Matamata, they visited a 650 head dairy farm. At Haldon Station, students toured sheep, cattle and deer operations. In Dannevirke, students experienced 1690 composite ewes, 282 Friesian bulls and grazing in steep paddocks.

A highlight for many students involved on farm visits in which students stayed and worked on local producers’ operations. Students worked on a large range of production from raspberry, vegetable, dairy, sheep, swine and horse operations.

Horticulture production tours on the program include apple orchards in Clive, the oldest winery in New Zealand-Mission Estate, gold kiwi from Kiwi Produce Ltd. and potatoes and onions on the Hewson Farm.

“My favorite technical visit was by far the Hewson Farms row crop facility. As an agronomy major, I was bouncing with excitement to see new crops and experience a farm that goes through a 13 crop rotation. I learned so much from them and can’t wait to bring back the knowledge I gained,” said Burnett.

Top destinations throughout the trip included the Moeraki Boulders along New Zealand’s Otago coast, Huka Falls where nearly 60,000 gallons of water barrels over the falls every second and hiking over four hours for the best views in New Zealand’s bush.

The Hutson School of Agriculture has a tradition of studying abroad in numerous countries including, Scotland, Argentina, Ireland, Brazil, Panama, Hungary and many others. Upcoming agriculture programs include Argentina in 2020 and Ireland in 2021.

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