Farm girls to get a taste of US ranch life


SOUTHLAND’S Sarah Humphries (17) and Kayla Calder (16) have been selected for the trip of a lifetime to the United States.

The Southland Girls’ High School pupils are among six TeenAg members from across New Zealand picked to take part in the inaugural 4-H Congress exchange in Bozeman, Montana, in July.

“I’m really excited and a bit shocked. It’s going to be such an amazing opportunity,” Sarah said.

Her parents have a 570-hectare farm at Five Rivers, which runs sheep and grazes dairy heifers.

“The United States has large ranches and feedlots and I can’t wait to learn more about their style of farming,” she said.

The students will stay with host families and explore Yellowstone National Park as part of the three-week exchange.

The girls will participate in educational workshops, hear from professional speakers and socialise with 400 other delegates.

Kayla said she had applied to attend the exchange because it was a great opportunity to travel overseas, do something “diverse” and meet new people.

Kayla Calder on her parents’ farm in Dipton. Photo: Supplied

To be selected was “pretty awesome”, she said.

“The odds of Sarah and I, who are great mates, both being selected makes it even better.”

Kayla said she was most looking forward to making new connections at the Congress and exploring Yellowstone National Park.

After leaving school, Kayla said she intended to study at Lincoln University before going high country farming and mustering. Later, she planned to travel overseas, perhaps to Montana to go ranching.

The other New Zealanders taking part in the 4-H Congress are Tyla Bishop from Oamaru, Olivia Mackenzie from Ashburton, Rhiannon Simpson from Timaru, and Mikayla McClennan from Te Awamutu.

Sarah, Tyla and Kayla had all completed the Leadership Pathway Programme (LPP), which was a leadership course run by NZ Young Farmers and funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) which had been developed to identify emerging leaders and ensure they are enter career pathways in the primary industries.