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Secondary School students experience agricultural careers

Wednesday 20 June 2012, 12:16PM

By NZ Young Farmers

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The career opportunities in the agricultural sector are countless.  New Zealand Young Farmers joined together with DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ to create Get Ahead; a one stop career hub for young people considering a career in agriculture.

The Get Ahead Programme encompasses Experience Days which raise the awareness and encourage students to consider an agricultural career.  These Days focus on the Supply Chain story – it’s all about how food gets from Pasture to Plate.  To demonstrate this; students participated in twelve practical modules that focused on everything from animal genetics to marketing and exporting, herd management to pasture manipulation.

Approximately 1000 students attended the Experience Days held around the country over the past four months.  Locations included: Te Awamutu, Rotorua, Auckland, Hawera, Palmerston North, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, Dunedin, Winton and Christchurch.

Business Development Manager Roz Lever says the key outcome of the Experience Days was “to show the diversity in agricultural careers and to bury the preconceived notion that working on-farm is the only agricultural career option.”

The twelve industries groups who supported the days were Stock Agents, Vets, Silver Fern Farms, The National Bank, CRV AmBreed, Gallagher, DOW, Fonterra, NZ Grain and Seed Association, Ravensdown and Telford - a division of Lincoln University.

“These Days were fun, hands-on and practical with an educational focus on the supply chain; and how every job in the agricultural industry contributes to the food production in New Zealand” says Rosie Todhunter, Youth Development Coordinator.

The days were thoroughly enjoyable for all involved; students, industry professionals and group hosts says Miss Todhunter.

Supporting the Experience Days is the Get Ahead website where students and career advisors alike can use the site to learn more about the possibilities in agriculture by exploring career options, education providers and facts about agriculture.

The Get Ahead programme is facilitated by New Zealand Young Farmers and run alongside the TeenAg programme.