Wednesday, 29 November 2017 08:55

Teachers revved up on farming

Written by  Peter Burke
Farmer Leo Vollebregt hosts teachers on his farm at Wairarapa. Farmer Leo Vollebregt hosts teachers on his farm at Wairarapa.

A leading exponent of once-a-day milking says it’s important that New Zealand attracts intelligent, keen young people to the dairy industry.

Dairy farmer Leo Vollebregt, of Wairarapa, last week hosted on his farm 35 secondary school teachers from the Wellington region, including careers, science, commerce, maths and English teachers.

This was the fifth such annual trip, organised by DairyNZ’s Susan Stokes and Rural News Group journalist Peter Burke, plus sponsors. They take city teachers into the country and show them farming career opportunities for young people.

As well as visiting the dairy farm, the teachers were taken to a Landcorp sheep and beef farm and an orchard.

Speakers on the day were mostly young graduates from Massey and Lincoln universities and Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.

Vollebregt says careers advisors are the key means of getting young people interested in farming.

“City people must get on a farm to understand the important opportunities there. You can’t do this by just sitting back in your office in an urban environment.”

Supporting this opinion is Wellington High School science teacher and careers advisor Tony Cains, who described the day as awesome.

Cairns says he now understands that farming requires not just agriculture and horticulture, but science, maths, communications and English.

Farming is a complex business, he now realises.

“Teachers like me didn’t understand the breadth of opportunities and range of careers; we now realise that we should be sending our top students, as well as kids who simply want to work the land, to make careers in the agri sector.”

 

More like this

Flood-affected farmers hold ground

Westland District mayor Bruce Smith isn’t buying suggestions that productive farmland at Franz Josef should be abandoned to the flood-prone Waiho River.

Farmer forums kick-off

DairyNZ Farmers’ Forums start this week with dairy’s future and opportunities heading the agenda.

Farmers back blitz

The dairy industry is supporting councils in their efforts to get all farmers to meet their effluent obligations.

Pasture road map boosts feed goals

Now is the time for dairy farmers to develop a pasture ‘road map’ to ensure they have enough feed to take their farms through calving to the balance date in mid-September.

 
 

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Find me on Tudder

A Tinder-inspired app called Tudder is helping farmers to match their cattle with suitable mates — by swiping right on…

Cow toilet

A farm equipment manufacturer is developing a toilet for cattle and has revealed that cows can be trained to use…

 
 

» Connect with Dairy News