Lucy Coleman grew up on a sheep and beef farm outside of Dannevirke, New Zealand and is an Animal Scientist, PhD student at Massey University, Palmerston North.
“I wasn’t too interested in Agriculture as a career but helped on the farm during the school holidays.”
Lucy went to boarding school at Feilding High School, and then to Massey University to study a Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry. During her first year, she took a paper about animals, which prompted a change in major to Animal Science and Physiology. During two summer holidays, while studying, she worked at Massey University doing summer research scholarships. This is where she got the idea of doing research as a career.
After finishing her undergraduate degree she started studying towards her Masters of Science degree majoring in Animal Science. This involved a lot more field research work and gave Lucy her first calf rearing experience.
“I really enjoyed working with calves, and now my favourite calf at the dairy farm is named after me.”
After graduating Lucy went overseas to Scotland for 5 months. She completed a research internship at SRUC in Edinburgh and travelled through Europe before coming back to Palmerston North to do her PhD. She is now in the third and final year of her PhD, which is working with Beef+Lamb NZ Genetics on the dairy-beef progeny test.
Lucy is a member of the Opiki Young Farmers Club and the New Zealand Society of Animal Production.
“I want to be able to say that I have contributed something to the New Zealand Agriculture industry, and with the research I am doing, I hope that it will be towards doing something about bobby calves. Given there are so many surplus calves from the dairy industry, we have the opportunity of using them to increase the export quantity of beef without increasing the number of beef cows.
“I love what I do, even though it has meant nearly 8 years at University. I like doing research and finding out why things happen as they do. My interest is in Animal Production, particularly beef and dairy cattle, and the work I have done so far has involved the dairy and beef industries by looking at rearing dairy calves and producing quality beef from finished cattle.”
You never stop learning Lucy and we are sure your research career will ensure you continue to learn. The bobby calf question is a tough one, however, we’re sure your research will find a viable solution. Keep up the good work, we know you’ll have the positive impact on the agricultural sector you desire.