On the final day the tour group finally got some time to relax. After visiting 13 different farms (10 dairy farms, one sheep dairy, one dairy wintering block and one cropping operation), seven different industry organisations/farming groups and many hours travelling in the mini-van, participants were finally able to digest some of their key learnings and cement some of the newly formed friendships with other participants.
After arriving in Queenstown, participants were taken on a Zipline Ecotour from the top of Bob’s Peak (top of the Gondola). Ziplining was not only a fantastic team exercise (the group warmly welcomed our tenth team member into our group, Rudolph from Germany, cheering him on) but also included education on sustainability, nature and the environment. This included discussions on the local environment and area and broader issues, such as the use of renewable energy. Tour participants also had some free time and had a go at the Luge at the top of the Gondola too (Bob’s Peak).
The following morning before flying home the group woke up bright & early in hopes to take hired mountain bikes for a ride around Lake Wakatipu. However, it was still dark, pouring with rain and was actually snowing on the top of The Remarkables and Cecil Peak across the lake (New Zealand are also having an unpredictable Sumer season). Instead, the group completed their National Centre for Dairy Education Learner Guide for the Certificate IV in Agriculture subject, Business Structures and Relationships, they complete as part of the Tour. This was a fantastic way to wrap up the Tour and ensure the group got together and discussed key learnings and outcomes.
Tour participant Evan Campbell is a passionate cyclist and to his delight, the weather finally cleared and the group still got a few hours in on the bikes – riding just over 30 km around Lake Wakatipu (apparently a bit slower than normal for Evan!). The group then headed to the airport and eventually back to their different dairy farms scattered across Victoria.
The Australian dairy industry has been through an extremely challenging twelve + months and it has been no exception for these young industry leaders. UDV, Gardiner Dairy Foundation and National Centre for Dairy Education are proud to have been able to provide six young industry leaders with an inspiring, educational Study Tour and offer them ongoing support into the future.
All 2017 New Zealand Study Tour participants will be presenting to the UDV Annual Meeting & Conference on Friday May 12, 2017 and we encourage anyone who wants to hear a full tour review to attend! More details will soon be available on the UDV Website – www.vff.org.au/udvconference