I am Irène Joulié, a French girl from the National Institute of Agronomy in Toulouse. I chose to spend one part of my gap year here in New Zealand to learn about agriculture in New Zealand. I heard about the Field Research Centre thanks to Jessica Veyre, a previous intern from France. I decided to contact Prof. Derrick Moot to work on pasture management. My topic was to study the difference in pasture management between France and New-Zealand, in order to adapt the New Zealand system to some region of France. This topic was linked with my following internship.
During my three months at the Field Service Centre, I worked with Mr Malcolm Smith at the Ashley Dene Pastoral Research Farm near Springston. We weighed lambs and sheep to know their live weight gain, cut samples of grass, clovers and lucerne and sorted them to analyse their growth and how the sheep grazing utilised it. I learnt a lot about animal grazing and plant association in pasture management. I also appreciated the chance to work outside on a farm with a great kiwi team.
Then, I had the opportunity to participate in the annual New Zealand Grassland Conference held at Alexandra (Otago). For me it was a great opportunity to discover different research work on pasture, to meet a lot of people from different organisations and to visit different farms.
I also had the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful country. I traveled a lot each weekend to discover more and more splendid landscapes! And obviously the three months spent in New Zealand gave me the opportunity to improve my English skills.
It was definitively a good internship, in an awesome country, with very kind people!