Phoebe Topp on her way to Brazil, though presumably not by horse

Brazil beckons Lincoln student

by Mike Isle

Phoebe Topp is counting down the days until she embarks on an educational trip to learn about farming in Brazil.

The 21-year-old vice-chair of Lincoln Young Farmers has been awarded a sought-after Prime Minister’s Scholarship.

She’s one of 65 students from Lincoln University given the scholarships to study in China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Brazil.

The scholarships are designed to help improve understanding of the business practices and culture of New Zealand’s trading partners.

“I’m really excited. About 15 of us are going to Brazil in November. We’ll get to attend lectures at several universities and visit different agri-businesses,” said Phoebe.

“It’s going to be interesting comparing Brazil’s farming systems with what I’m familiar with in New Zealand.”

Brazil has the world’s biggest commercial cattle and beef herd and is the largest cattle meat exporter, according to Trade and Enterprise NZ. It is also the world’s top producer of coffee and sugar cane.

Phoebe grew up on a sheep and beef farm just out of Martinborough and has experience working on large-scale operations.

During the past summer, she spent 11 weeks on Siberia Station near Hunterville as part of a practical work placement at university.

The farm has 19,000 breeding ewes and just under 2,000 cattle.

Phoebe’s already secured employment at West Wanaka Station when she returns from Brazil.

The station runs 14,000 breeding ewes, 2,000 deer and 1,500 cattle.

Phoebe’s goal is to gain experience on-farm, before branching out in the agri-business sector.