Article and Photograph courtesy of the Te Awamutu Courier
FUTURE young farmers at Te Awamutu College display their fencing skills: from left, Amber Clifford, Mikayla McCleenan, Faith Jordan and Emily Gleeson.
Te Awamutu College will soon have its own Young Farmers Club to provide special opportunities for students interested in agriculture. The new Young Farmers Club, a branch of Teen Ag being set up in association with Young Farmers NZ, is a student-led initiative and is not just for students who want to go farming. It will be valuable for any student interested in an agricultural career in fields such as science, management, marketing or animal health — providing them with important opportunities, such as networking, career planning and competitions. Members will also have access to more than $3 million in scholarships for tertiary study. For students not intending tertiary study, the club will provide the opportunity to network and a gateway to local branches of Young Farmers New Zealand. Teen Ag is a nationwide organisation, established to promote the rewarding careers available in the agricultural industry and help address a huge shortage of agricultural and horticultural graduates. Graduates with degrees in agriculture are in high demand and typically leave university with several well-paid job offers. Te Awamutu College is redeveloping its agricultural and horticultural science department to help students take advantage of these career opportunities. “Te Awamutu College has a long history of offering agricultural and horticulture subjects,” says agricultural science teacher James Saunders. “It is essential that we continue to develop courses and initiatives that reflect the changing needs of our students, community and industry. “This club is a continuation of our commitment to provide students with as many opportunities and advantages as possible.” Another example of this commitment is the new Level 3 Agriculture course developed by David Prout, head of agricultural and horticultural science. This course, available from 2018, means Te Awamutu College can offer students a continuous learning pathway in Agriculture from Year 9 all the way to Year 13. The TAC Young Farmers Club will be officially launched by representatives of New Zealand Young Farmers on Thursday, July 27.
For more information on Teen Ag visit www.teenag.co.nz.