A childhood fascination with breeding bantams has led to a North Canterbury woman studying to become a vet.

Georgina “Georgie” Martin, aged 22, who was raised on a farm at Loburn, near Rangiora, has received a $2500 scholarship towards her studies for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at Massey University.

“I took a liking to our chickens when I was growing up. They were really cool to watch, but we ended up with so many chickens.”

She kept a diary, documenting their routines, behaviours and demeanours, from egg-laying to hatching chicks.

A lifelong interest in caring for animals has led to Georgie Martin studying to be a vet.

She even named them, with Henny Penny being her favourite, but not Eagle. “He was so vicious,” she recalls.

“They all have their own personalities and, how they were with their chicks, they were all different. People can find connections with all sorts of animals.”

Georgie says being a veterinarian is not just about treating animals, but involves working with people too, which she says is “an awesome mix between the two”.

Farming is in her blood, as she grew up on a deer and cattle farm at Loburn, run by her parents Andrea and Guy Martin and her grandparents Bill and Barbara Cust.

Her brother, Sam, who recently completed a degree at Lincoln University, has returned home to take over the farm, she says.

Georgie says she hopes to return to North Canterbury after she completes her degree and says she plans to use her scholarship money to fund her vet placements and work experience in as many different South Island farming systems as possible.

She has already had experiences working on high country and hill country properties, including in Lees Valley, near Oxford, working with cattle, sheep, deer and horses, and on dairy farms.

“I definitely want to work with the larger animals. I’m not much of a cat person.

“There seems to be a bit of a shortage in production vets, as more graduates are looking to work with the small animals, so hopefully there will be some opportunities.”

Outside of her studies, Georgie is a member of the wildlife, business, cloven hoof and equine clubs at Massey University, and she also coaches basketball and volunteers at Riding for the Disabled.

“The university is really good like that, with lots of different clubs run by students and you get to do quite a bit of stuff that you don’t do in your studies.

“In the cloven hoof club, we were out collecting bull semen. That’s one of my best experiences. It was pretty full on.”

When she was at high school, Georgie used to help out with North Canterbury Riding for the Disabled and has continued to volunteer since moving to Palmerston North.

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