Organization: Lees Valley Station, North Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand
Dates: 15-May-2016 - 15-August-2016
In Anya's own words
How I contributed: Grasslands LLC is using MOB grazing or high intensity pasture management to sustainably manage pastures by increasing nutrient cycling, top soil development and overall carbon sequestration. With 80,000 acres under our management, many of which had been somewhat to significantly degraded, our work was directly improving a large portion of the regional ecology and water table while sequestering carbon to meet wider climate change mitigation goals.
What I felt most challenged by: The MOB grazing approach is very non-traditional for Kiwi shepherds/farmers, as such, they at times could be very dismissive of the instructions issued by upper management and there was some tension on the ranch. Because I was an American and supporter of MOB grazing, but lived with three Kiwi shepherds it was an interesting experience (but very good!!!)
What I enjoyed most: The people were incredibly knowledgeable and I loved learning from them, but most of all the place. This valley felt like home. We had over 100,000, a huge valley for 15 of us and to experience solitude in such a gorgeous place was amazing.
Would I recommend this experience: The people and place was amazing, but unless the student has significant ranch experience I would not recommend. I also don't think they're looking for interns per say. I got the job because I had previously worked for the company.