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A Merry Target Practice To You, Too

Allana Minchau, 21, is from a cow-calf ranch in Alberta. She got a communications-public relations degree in July 2009, and before starting a career, decided to take a 12-month working Agriventure through the International Agriculture Exchange Association (IAEA). She’s currently at a large dairy near Culverden, New Zealand. Here is her latest report:

As the temperature continues to illuminate the New Zealand summer, I can only think of how differently the New Zealand Christmas is compared to a Canadian one. Instead of winter parkas, toques, gloves, scarves and of course the cold of home, New Zealand Christmases include shorts, T-shirts, baseball caps, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Oh yeah, and gumboots. One constant on a New Zealand dairy farm is the gumboots. In rain or shine, when you are milking 1,200 cows, you will not want to be stepping in their feces with your shoes.

To celebrate the Christmas season with their staff, Hilary and Emlyn hosted a barbecue and clay bird shooting in between the morning and afternoon milkings. I needed the target practice and it created a good competitive spirit. It was indeed rewarding the first time I saw the flying orange disk burst into bits!

As all ranchers and farmers know, livestock do not take the holidays off therefore milking continued as usual, although we started later in the afternoon. In addition, many farms around us were silaging up to Christmas Day as we are in the middle of their summer here. In New Zealand, everyone has their large meal in the afternoon, and then for evening tea they have cold meats. Spuds, strawberries, cherries and peas are the tastes of a New Zealand Christmas as they are all fresh for the season.

Although Christmas didn’t feel the same as a Canadian one, it was still fantastic to experience Christmas in Kiwi style. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone back home! Till next time, Allana.

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