By Faressa Poveda González (Panamá)
My name is Faressa Del Carmen Poveda González and I am a Food Science and Technology fourth-year student. I am doing an internship on goat farming in the Golden Valley Farm in Chowchilla, CA. I work on field management and nutrition, ovine health, milking, cheese processing, and merchandising. Furthermore, this internship includes learning about the production of hydroponic fodder, particularly oats.
Each area has an expert in charge: an experienced veterinarian in charge of ovine health; two agricultural engineers experienced in nutrition and field management —one of them is in charge of hiring qualified staff for cheese processing and establishing relationships with buyers.
My main responsibility in the farm is to ensure the health of sheep before, during, and after calving, which may vary depending on the breed. I work with East Friesian (from Northern Germany) and Lacaune (from Southern France) breeds. Also, I am in charge of the nutrition and health of lambs, making sure that their first months are adequate for their future development in the field.
Another important part of our training attending talks imparted by our supervisors. They explain how to make formulas for animal nutrition and cheese processing.
Being able to broaden my knowledge by learning not only about bovine farm management but also about ovine farm management has made this a very successful internship on technical consultancies to farms that focus on dairy production in general.