Adventures with a pup

Ag nutrient specialist Rachael Hoogenboom is making the most of life in Southland, seeing the sights, training a puppy and taking to the water.

In Home Block5 Minutes

Ag nutrient specialist Rachael Hoogenboom is making the most of life in Southland, seeing the sights, training a puppy and taking to the water.

THEY SAY TIME FLIES WHEN YOU are having fun, and I can hardly believe we are nearing the end of 2022. What a year it has been for the agriculture sector, for the world and for me.

This year has certainly been full of excitement and real emotion with the return of events and easy travel. We could all probably agree that to be able to socialise with friends and family under very few restrictions has lifted our spirits.

I have now spent a full year living in Northern Southland and this gorgeous region has begun to feel like home, especially when many of my weekends have been spent showcasing the sights to visiting friends and family. The number one destination of choice on these tours has been Milford Sound, and for good reason as each time I visit I’m just as astounded and lost for words as I was the first time I drove the no-exit road.

I’ve also made a few trips of my own this year, although unfortunately not international, but to varying locations for diverse events within New Zealand.

A focus for myself this year has been growing my passion and knowledge for the red meat industry. Through my work place I’m lucky enough to be involved in a selective sheep and beef development group. The aim of this group is to upskill employees on the opportunities within the sector, to engage in challenging conversations with farmers, and share our experiences.

I have attended three different modules nationwide with topics ranging from animal health and feed budgeting to farming as a business, but all agendas giving a different perspective on the diverse range of farm systems within NZ.

For someone that didn’t grow up on the farm but has spent a large amount of time immersed in the agriculture industry, I see an enormous amount of opportunity and future growth. This is most likely what drew me to my chosen career path, but the exciting part is that I still have so much to learn and therefore time to identify more opportunities, more adventures, and more success.

This has also been the year to discover my adventurous side where I have tried a few new things. You’re probably thinking I’ve picked up a thriving new hobby of skydiving or deep-sea diving, but I can assure you I won’t be trying those any time soon. Cam and I now devote our spare time to spoil a young, bouncy, and very cheeky 10-month-old Jack Russell puppy, named Indy. The last eight months with her has certainly been a new adventure, which will continue as we learn the art of training something which never sits still.

A stretch to this introvert’s wild side has been saying yes to a seat in a rowing eight boat, which will race against various other teams to raise funds for the local rowing club. Water sports have never been on the top of my game list but it’s never too late to try, although I have been told our team would be doing very well if we found ourselves in the water. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as I remain optimistic about this new challenge, but I doubt you will see me at the next Olympic games.

My favourite season has always been summer, and as the daylight lingers for a little longer each evening, I really do treasure the simple things in life. Like playing fetch with Indy, enjoying a refreshment in the sun with Cam, dips in the lake and laughter with friends. All this extra sunshine may even prompt me to really push the boat out and try barefoot skiing.

Stay tuned for more of Rachael’s wild adventures.