Each day is as good as the last at Coleridge Downs Training Farm, Briar Swanson says.

The 17-year-old, who kick-started her two-year-long cadetship on the farm last month, has loved every minute of the experience so far — even the early starts.

"It's amazing up here. The country is just incredible and working with everyone is really good as well."

Each day was a highlight, she said.


"I go out for work one day and I think 'this is amazing, nothing will ever top this', but the next day is just as good as well.''One morning I had to get up at 3.30am and I was looking forward to it — I don't know why."

The training farm is part of a group of farms in the Rakaia Gorge in central Canterbury, which cover 10,000ha and run 42,000 stock units. Briar, a St Kevin's College leaver, received $1000 from the South Canterbury North Otago (SCNO) Deer Farmers Trust to help her get what she needed for the cadetship, including wet-weather gear, boots and a heading pup.

Briar has assisted with a large range of jobs so far, including weaning lambs and calves and weighing stock.

"I've [also] been working with deer as well, velveting stags, moving stock around and fencing."

Throughout much of those jobs, Briar's new pup, Zap, has been by her side.

He, too, is in training, part of which involves teaching him manners.

"Just the basic stuff to get him started."

The SCNO Deer Farmers Trust has provided funds for previous participants in the Kellogg leadership course and other deer industry learning and training courses.


Funds are available to people who want to further their interest, learning and knowledge of deer farming and the deer industry.