Agribition offers chance to learn

Lucy Collin, in green, from New Zealand, fits cattle with Katie and Andre Steppler of Miami, Man., during Canadian Western Agribition. | Karen Briere photo

Lucy Collin was five days into a new job, in a new country, and appeared to be having the time of her life in the Charolais barn at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina.

Collin is from Rauriki Charolais in Central Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

She came to Canada for the first time in July as part of the Canadian Charolais Youth Association conference in Brandon and is back to work for Andre and Katie Steppler at Miami, Man., for about a month.

She said she jumped at the opportunity to learn more about Canada and the livestock industry and gain experience with different practices.

“I breed Charolais at home and I show cattle,” she said. “We’ve got 270 cows at home.”

She said she hoped to take back ideas to her parents and the New Zealand industry.

As for the Stepplers, Andre said he will also learn from having an international student on the farm.

“Just to see how different people manage their cattle or how they see genetics and how they breed cattle is really interesting for us too,” he said.

Steppler Farms runs about 475 purebred Charolais cows plus a 100-head Black Angus commercial herd, a grain farm and a honeybee operation.

Since Andre returned to the farm after school he has focused strictly on the cattle and said Agribition, which this year was held Nov. 19-24, has become an integral part of his marketing strategy over the dozen or so years the farm has exhibited and sold animals.

Collin said she saw some genetics she liked at the show.

“I’ve definitely given Dad some names,” she said.

Collin is scheduled to return home Dec. 20 but Steppler has a different idea.

“She has to help me calve cows so she has to stay until the end of January,” he said with a laugh.

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