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A Massey University agriculture student will spend a month in China working with local researchers and gaining an insight into dairy systems there.
Scott Cameron, who will complete his Bachelor of AgriScience at the end of the year, will visit Lanzhou University in the nation’s northwest next month. He will work with researchers in the College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology.
Mr Cameron says the trip provides a unique opportunity. “I’ll be able to get a better understanding of their dairy industry,” he says. “I’ve worked on research farms here in New Zealand with DairyNZ. So now if I go over there I’ll see their research and their trials, and also their industry and farms, so it will be a great opportunity before I start work next year.”
He hopes to visit some of the large-scale dairy farms to gain insight into how they are run.
“I’ve been to some of the large beef and maize farms in Iowa in the United States recently, so seeing the industry in China will make me more informed. Having an understanding of the global dairy industry will definitely help me in the future.”
Mr Cameron says while his degree has taught him about business, animals, pasture and soils, it is pasture that is his main interest.
“So going to a university that is focused on pasture will be a great experience.”
The trip was organised by Associate Professor Cory Matthew of the Institute of Natural Resources, whose relationship with Lanzhou University began in 2006. “I’ve visited four times since then, and we have collaborated on a number of research papers and have had many published,” he says.
“There will be intangible benefits for Scott. No doubt he will mature and develop with the experience. He’ll also be more aware of how the Chinese dairy industry works which is increasingly important for young agricultural professionals.”
Mr Cameron, who grew up on a dairy farm in south Taranaki, will take up a job as a consulting officer with DairyNZ in Whangarei when he returns from China. His trip is partially funded by the TR Ellet Agricultural Research Trust.