Following a successful show in 2022, Launceston Agricultural Association offered a travel bursary to local student Merryn Philp, sending her on a trip of a lifetime to Canada in order to raise the profile of the show association.
Merryn, who has always been inspired to travel, currently studies agriculture and animal science at Harper Adams University.
The bursary meant Merryn’s travel fees were covered. She began talking to Canadian farmers Ern and Monica, who had arranged a placement for her, and soon enough it was time for her to board the long flight from Heathrow.
After two flights and a drive from Regina Airport to cross the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, and into the Prairies, Merryn arrived to what would become her new home for the next month.
Merryn said: “Once I was settled in, I went to have a look around and had a tour around the farm that I soon got to know well, and was introduced to my first job of looking after a bucket calf that ended up being my new shadow and best friend!”
The daily routine usually consisted of multiple checks of the bred cows in the corral and in pasture, as well as chores which varied day to day as imaginable and then often sorting of calves. The routine generally continued with the classic excitement of looking after livestock, and one of the highlights included letting a group of cows and calves out to pasture, plus the tours around cattle farms.
Merryn added: “It taught me so much and I am so grateful for all the people I got to meet and lessons I learnt.
“The trip reiterated that working with livestock is the most rewarding job in the world, even at -19 and in snowstorms. It was safe to say I saw it all, as Monica and Ern would say, especially when it came to extreme conditions and coping with wildlife!”