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New stay-at-home farming study option

§ July 11th, 2012 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on New stay-at-home farming study option

Partnership brings diploma to Taranaki

Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre is offering a Diploma in Agriculture at its Stratford campus next year, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership with Lincoln University, of Canterbury.

It means strongly motivated students won’t have to leave Taranaki to complete the level 5 diploma.

The qualification also provides a pathway to a degree in agriculture and students who complete it may be awarded credits towards a bachelor degree at Lincoln.

Taratahi chief executive officer Donovan Wearing will be promoting this and other Stratford training options at a presentation evening in the Stratford Memorial Centre next Tuesday, October 13, from 7pm.

Stephen Carr, Taratahi’s business development manager, says the partnership deal with Lincoln is a very significant development for Taranaki.

“It means that people who want to do a Dip Ag but not give up work and have to study in Canterbury, we can now offer this in Taranaki, while you are still working,” he says

“It’s not extra-mural study because that can be hard for people who are doing a full day’s physical work on a farm and then have to sit down and read a book or go online at night.

“There is still a lot of self- guided study but the group comes together with a tutor almost weekly in the early stages of the semester.

“They bond as a group and go through various parts of the course together.
“There’s also 12 weeks of practical farm work which they can do on the job.

“The diploma is for people looking for extra qualifications, or those who have put off doing it earlier.” Taratahi is also offering a new “work ready” Certificate in Agriculture to lower level students who want to live, work and study close to home.

This is an entry level into agriculture study for people who have some knowledge or absolutely none and all they do know is they absolutely want to go farming.

“That passion unites them and they don’t have to be from farming backgrounds at all,” says Mr Carr.

“We can give them the knowledge but it’s their passion that will see them through and many of our most successful students are from towns. Our current students range from 16 to 31 in age and most are around 18-20.”

This new, nationally recognised qualification combines the quality teaching of core skills with specialised options.

“Graduates will be able to walk into their new jobs equipped with the knowledge base and extensive skill set that Taranaki farmers recognise as Taratahi’s trademark.

“The course is split into three strands: Theory, technical skills and farmwork, and is a fantastic option for anyone in the region who is serious about a career in agriculture,” says Mr Carr.

“We also run part-time courses, including a rural leadership programme called Generate. It’s about enhancing leadership, personal and presentational skills. It has a rural focus and tends to be aimed at the older 23-30 age group, but you don’t have to be in the ag sector to get benefit from this course.

“Farming is a lifestyle choice, it’s not a 9-5 job and sometimes it will be unpleasant.
It’s a safe, vast industry with massive opportunities for work and capital ownership.
“We have graduates still in their 20s who are already 50:50 sharemilking. “The path to financial success and major satisfaction is there.”

Taratahi has been operating since World War I in the Wairarapa and set up five years ago at Stratford with the support of Venture Taranaki which had identified a large number of young people who wanted to be farmers but did not want to leave home.

Taratahi Stratford is based on the old Stratford demonstration farm on East Rd. It has classroom facilities and equipment for campus-based sessions but most practical work is done on any of about 30 farms which support the programmes.

Jim Law, chairman of the Taratahi Board of Trustees, says: “In recent years Taratahi has implemented a number of programmes aimed at enhancing the skills of the agricultural workforce at many levels. Rather than replicate existing qualifications, it makes more sense to work in partnership, something that Taratahi is doing with a number of organisations. We are looking forward to a healthy partnership that delivers the competent, committed graduates that New Zealand needs. This new opportunity in Taranaki is further proof that Taratahi is leading the way in shaping the future of rural training in New Zealand.

“Earlier this year, Taratahi brought together senior stakeholders in the agriculture industry at a national seminar in Wellington.

“The aim was to discuss the rural sector’s increasing demand for a highly skilled, well- qualified workforce at every level. Delegates resolved to develop closer partnerships in response to this need. Taratahi’s new relationship with Lincoln University does exactly that.”