Taking to the south

Joanna Hoogenboom has followed in her sisters’ footsteps, heading from Hawke’s Bay to Lincoln University and becoming a Home Block columnist.

In Home Block5 Minutes
Lincoln Young Farmers club on trip through Lindis Pass.

Joanna Hoogenboom has followed in her sisters’ footsteps, heading from Hawke’s Bay to Lincoln University and becoming a Home Block columnist.

YOU MAY BE WONDERING, THAT’S A familiar name but a new face. Following in my sisters Amy and Rachael’s footsteps, I thought it was about time for my turn to write about what the youngest sibling gets up to.

I am in my third year at Lincoln University, studying a Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Planning, Majoring in Water Management.

Although I’m a townie converted to a country girl, I have grown a passion for the agriculture industry and try to maximise the opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience within the industry.

One of those recent opportunities allowed me to attend the Generation Change programme organised by Agri Women’s Development Trust. This is an amazing workshop to help prepare and inspire young women for a life of meaningful work and make a positive impact in the primary sector. I am also looking forward to attending the BOMA Agri summit in June and hope to gain more insight into where my degree can take me within the rural sector.

Many of my friends and family would say I’m appearing more like a South Islander every day, very much like my sisters, with all three of us having lived here since I started uni two and a half years ago.

I’ve chosen to spend a few of my university holidays in the South also, with my past summer working around Mid Canterbury for AsureQuality as a crop inspector. It was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the seed and plant sector and engage with farmers and industry professionals.

Canterbury’s unusually rainy summer allowed me to test and improve my 4WD skills, while Google maps helped me find my way around the region. I didn’t think I would get lost driving along the flat and straight roads of Canterbury, but to begin with, each intersection shared many similarities.

When my job with AsureQuality came to an end I spent the last few weeks of the summer holidays working for Ngai Tahu Farming on their dairy farms in Eyrewell, mainly working with native plantings and weed eradication.

I also spent some time with their sustainability and environmental team looking at reducing carbon emissions onfarm and keeping up to date with resource consents. This practical work provided great insight into what the next stage following my degree may look like as well as looking at what knowledge has already been gained through my degree.

One of the most enjoyable parts of being a Lincoln student is being a member of the well-known Lincoln Young Farmers club. It is a great way to meet like-minded people and learn a thing or two about all things ag-related. I am no fencer but while being in the club I’ve come as far as being able to tie a termination knot. My experiences with the YFC have taught me to just give things a go, especially new things that push you outside your comfort zone.

In March we had our first trip of the year through the McKenzie Country and Central Otago visiting a range of farming operations. One of my highlights was visiting Lake Hawea Station, to see how they operate their regenerative agriculture system, which is something I am keen to learn more about. Driving a minivan across farm was very entertaining, however, I was not so keen on driving over the Dansey Pass and enjoyed the scenery instead.

The year ahead is looking very busy but full of excitement and opportunity. Heading into the second half of my third year means the 21st birthday season is well underway but it’s not all fun and games, hard work is still being done on the academic front and with in-person lectures back on, students are enjoying being back on campus together. Life as an almost South Islander is turning out to be pretty jolly good.