Kayla Calder's journey from scholar to shepherd, showcasing the future of farming education

Kayla Calder's journey from scholar to shepherd, showcasing the future of farming education

Each year, Lincoln University offers a vast number of Ag-related scholarships to those interested in furthering their education in the Ag sector through tertiary education. One such option available is the Lone Star Farms Scholarship which was established in 2014 to assist and recognise students studying a Diploma in Farm Management. 

With a value of $3000, a recipient of the scholarship, Kayla Calder told REX host Dominic George she credits the additional funding and support for providing her with the stepping stone she needed in her career. 

"Yes, I was very fortunate to receive that," she acknowledged. 

"Lone Star Farms is actually American, owned by Tom Sturgess and there's six different properties throughout the South Island here that are a part of Lone Star."

Calder, who is currently making significant strides at Caberfeidh Station in Hakataramea Valley, specifically highlighted the Lumina Lambs program as an innovative project she has particularly enjoyed being a part of. 

"I'm employed here as a shepherd and then over the summer months get quite a bit to do with the Lumina Lambs program," she said.

"Yeah, it's gaining a bit of recognition here and overseas, which is great to see," she shared. 

When asked about her future aspirations, Calder shared her plans to gain experience abroad and expand her horizons, without forgetting her roots in the south. 

"Yeah, I reckon I'd love to go overseas, have a bit of an OE, do a bit of travelling and work experience in America, go over and see how the all the beef program yeah, just see all the different systems. 

"Really there's so much out there in farming, (it's) such a diverse thing where everyone is real stuck into it, but there's also that big variety that you can go either way with." 

Throughout the interview, Calder emphasised the importance of constant learning in farming, calling it a "diverse thing" with endless opportunities for growth. Her story is a testament to the power of dedication, hard work, and passion in overcoming obstacles and achieving success. 

Calder's inspiring journey offers a fresh perspective on farming, reminding us that it's not just about raising livestock, but also about fostering connections, embracing innovation, and nurturing a love for the land.

Listen to the full chat between Kayla Calder and Dominic George above.

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