As far as first-day-at-work experience go, Molly Dagger has a tough one to beat.

The Northland woman vividly remembers her first day at Walt Disney World in Florida.

"We got to travel through underground tunnels to get to the famous Magic Kingdom theme park."

"Later, Mickey Mouse turned up carrying a box and he gave each of us a set of iconic mouse ears and our name tag," she laughed.

Molly Dagger meets the most famous duo at Disney World - Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Molly Dagger meets the most famous duo at Disney World - Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

"It was a surreal moment."

The NZ Young Farmers member was at Walt Disney World in Florida as part of an international cultural exchange, which started last August and finished in January.

"I worked as a lifeguard at one of the resorts," said the 22-year-old.

The sprawling entertainment complex covers 11,000 hectares, an area the size of Hamilton.

Molly Dagger in Dargaville.
Molly Dagger in Dargaville.

"It's absolutely ginormous," said Molly. "It has four theme parks, two water parks, something like 27 themed resort hotels and several golf courses."

She said the annual cultural exchange programme is a life-changing experience.

"Participants live in four different apartment complexes," she said.

"I made friends from all over the world. It helped push me out of my comfort zone and grow as a person."


Interviews for the next intake are being held in Australia and New Zealand during April and May.

Since returning home, the 22-year-old has had a surprise win which has propelled her into the grand final of a stock judging competition.

Molly enjoys "giving things a go" and entered a stock judging competition at the Northern Field Days in Dargaville this month.

She placed first and secured a spot in the national final in Invercargill in July.

"I just can't believe it, I'm a townie," laughed the part-time promotions assistant and Kaipara Young Farmers member.

Molly, who has a Bachelor of Communications from AUT, joined NZ Young Farmers two years ago.

"I forced my partner Kurtis Danks to sign up because I thought it would be good for him and then I ended up joining as well," she said.

The couple live on a dairy farm at Te Hana near Wellsford, where Kurtis manages 640 cows.