Hi! I’m Sam, an American student studying Animal Science from Cornell University. I came to Lincoln University in May 2017, where I spent eight weeks working with the Field Research team. Most of my experience up to this point involved mostly animals, so learning about crop production systems was definitely out of my comfort zone.
Despite the unfamiliarity, everyone at Lincoln made me feel right at home. Professor Derrick Moot and Malcolm Smith, the technician, showed me such great hospitality and were very accommodating throughout the entire experience. Because I worked with such great people, it made it much easier to learn and understand agronomy, even though it was a new subject to me.
The highlight of my internship was attending the NZ Beef and Lamb FarmSmart Conference. At one point, a panel of scientists and farmers discussed the uncertain future of the meat industry due to consumer shifts toward plant-based products. Up until then, I had only been cognizant of United States production and never recognized the struggles of international farmers. For me, this sparked an interest in international agriculture and food security.
As I graduate in the Spring, I’ll be continuing on to vet school while also looking for some more opportunities abroad. My time in NZ was unforgettable; there’s nothing quite like staring up at the stars in the middle of the night at Mount Cook Village or hiking 8.5 hours through the Tongariro Crossing to experience sights that other people only see in movies. I’m so grateful for the Field Research team, my host family, and the beauty of New Zealand.