Year 12 Agriculture and Environmental Science, ‘Environmental Impacts’ Field Trip.

Thursday 30th July 2020

'We were hugely impressed with the ‘tight ship’ Evan runs'

A cold morning turned into a sunny, but brisk, day for our excursion to Waikouaiti Dairy farmer Evan Hurst’s property.

Our purpose was to meet Evan, get an overview of his farm and discuss the environmental challenges and things he has to manage on his dairy farm, particularly in relation to the Waikouaiti River that intersects his farm.

After a warming sausage roll in his modern and fully enclosed, robotic feeder calving shed, we toured his farm before heading to the secluded Bucklands Crossing to test the river for nitrates, pH, conductivity, clarity and other water quality indicators.

One of the assessments the trip informs is the design of a landscape plan for beautifying a part of the fantastically clean river, creating a riparian zone that enhances it for public enjoyment and recreation as well as helping Evan to preserve the quality of the water and biodiversity.

We were hugely impressed with the ‘tight ship’ Evan runs and got a very good perspective on just how much a dairy farmer has to do, comply with and manage… it is a very busy, (and at times quite stressful) job.

One of the most pressing issues in New Zealand and the world today is our environment, understanding the issues and concerns facing it, and finding solutions. I hope our students are the future innovators. Agri and Enviro Science at JMC has built a major part of our curriculum around these issues.  We hope to help grow a sustainable and prosperous future for both farming and the environment.

Many thanks to our wonderful Helen Clulee for driving and keeping an eye on the students, and Evan Hurst and his family for very generously hosting us for another year (sausage rolls!).