It is estimated the industry will need another 2,000 permanent employees and 4,000 seasonal employees within the next few years. This future growth is dependent on the ability to attract and retain young people who are highly skilled and enthusiastic and develop them to become our industry’s future leaders.

The Agribusiness in Schools programme is a unique educational opportunity that enables secondary school students to broaden their knowledge and skills in the agribusiness sector. The programme’s goal is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding and to prepare them for employment within the industry.

The programme has been developed at St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton and is available to students from across the country, at NCEA levels 2 and 3, who want to work in the agribusiness sector. It is run in collaboration with a range of industry partners, including NZKGI.

The curriculum includes a variety of classes and activities that cover a wide range of agribusiness aspects, such as animal and crop production, farm management, agribusiness finance, and sustainability. The courses are designed to be practical and hands-on, with an emphasis on developing the skills and knowledge required for success in the agribusiness industry.

One of the key features of the Agribusiness in Schools programme is its emphasis on experiential learning. It contains a variety of hands-on activities that allow students to acquire practical experience in the agribusiness industry. For example, students may tour a local orchard to learn about kiwifruit production, or they may attend an agribusiness finance workshop to learn about farm financial management.

Students can also conduct research projects on a variety of agribusiness subjects as part of the Agribusiness in Schools programme. These projects allow students to enhance their research skills while also learning more about particular aspects of the agribusiness industry. Students’ previous research projects have included investigating the use of technology in farming, investigating the effect of climate change on agriculture, and analysing the profitability of various agribusiness businesses.

Agribusiness in Schools programme has been proven to be highly effective in preparing students for careers in the agribusiness sector. Many programme graduates have gone on to study agriculture at university and/or secured employment within the industry. The programme has also served to raise awareness of the importance of the agribusiness industry and to promote careers in this field to young people.

For more information about the Agribusiness in Schools programme click here or contact Melanie Simmons, the Agribusiness Advisor to schools here.