Roxane has joined us for six weeks on her international internship placement and will spend her time working with the Maui Milk and Southern Cross Dairy Sheep teams.
In France, Roxane is a student going into her 5th year at an agricultural engineering school in Toulouse, while she also works as an apprentice at UNOTEC, a business providing technical advice to the dairy sheep industry—at work she specialises in Milk Quality. Roxane’s link to Maui Milk is UNOTEC, who work with Ovitest, a business that provides Southern Cross Dairy Sheep with genetics.
For Roxane to graduate, she needed to travel outside of France to study a subject within the agricultural industry that interests her. New Zealand seemed like a good option as the sheep dairy industry here is still in its infancy, so it sparked her curiosity.
Roxane hoped that coming to New Zealand would allow her the opportunity to experience a different way of farming and perhaps she could contribute some of her learnings of French farming practices and their sheep dairy industry to the industry here.
The sheep dairy industry in France is different to the farming system we utilise here. The French predominantly use hybrid farming systems where their ewes spend som time indoors and sometime outside grazing. Whereas in NZ we use a pastoral farming system where sheep are pasture fed and free range all year round — so does this affect the milk? The short answer is, yes it does, but more research is needed.
Roxane is also interested in Maui Milk’s genetics programme, and in her six weeks with us is determined to learn as much as she can on-farm, in the lamb rearing shed and in the paddock, while sharing with us and our supply farmers knowledge from UNOTEC in exchange.
In her spare time, you’ll find Roxane hiking or travelling the North Island. “And of course, I hope to make progress with learning English.” says Roxane.