Nebraska students round out education

International perspectives ... A group of University of Nebraska agricultural students spent several weeks 
earlier this year visiting farms in New Zealand. One stop was at Mt Peel Station, near Geraldine,  where they talked to owner John Acland. Photo by Steve Jones
International perspectives ... A group of University of Nebraska agricultural students spent several weeks earlier this year visiting farms in New Zealand. One stop was at Mt Peel Station, near Geraldine, where they talked to owner John Acland. Photo by Steve Jones

Despite enjoying visiting different farming systems in New Zealand for the past month, 41 students from the University of Nebraska have yet to develop a taste for Vegemite, tour leader and animal science professor Steven Jones says.

The tour, which is held every two years, is the fifth organised jointly by Lincoln University and Nebraska University. It is for mainly second- and third-year agricultural students.

Professor Jones said the students, who had a range of agricultural backgrounds, were studying various disciplines including agri-economics, agronomy, ecology, land and farm management, animal and food science and agri-education.

''They are aged between 18 and 24 and this is by the far the biggest group we have had,'' Professor Jones said.

''We have been on the West Coast and seen several farms around Canterbury.

''We also went down to Te Anau to the Landcorp's Stuart Farm, and also visited some meat works.''

They also visited Rex and Audrey Stevenson, of Glenkylie Farms, also near Te Anau.

''Some of the students had never left Nebraska before and now they are getting a good appreciation of international agriculture.

''We have also had some fun and went on a boat trip to Milford Sound, got to jump out of an aeroplane and jump off a cliff with rubber bands on our feet.''

He said for some what they had seen on the tour was a ''life-changing experience''.

''Some are altering career plans to include more international agriculture than before they went on tour.''

He said several had asked about internships within New Zealand.

''Many would love to come back.

''They have enjoyed the hospitality they received here but have not yet developed a liking for Vegemite.

''I don't know if they ever will.''

- by Yvonne O'Hara