Thursday, 31 May 2018 14:55

Youngsters see the light on working outdoors

Written by 
James Robertson. James Robertson.

Kiwi youngsters in town and country schools are learning about the prospect of farming careers via AgriKids and TeenAg, devised by NZ Young Farmers, says its chief executive Terry Copeland.

They are funded by the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain (TDVC) Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme led by DairyNZ, Fonterra, MPI and others.

AgriKids and TeenAg, respectively, inform primary and secondary schoolers about farming and its career possibilities.

 AgriKids is aimed at children aged 8-13, running a fun, learning experience in a club environment. 

 TeenAg presents a positive view of farming and ag careers for high-schoolers. The goal is to show students from town and country, who enjoy the outdoors and don’t mind getting their hands dirty, how stimulating agriculture can be.

Students join a TeenAg club at their school or when they compete in TeenAg regional contests. These are run annually, testing students on their farming knowledge -- theory and practice -- including, e.g. animal anatomy, fencing, soil testing, plant identification, erecting a gate and assembling a beehive. 

 “The competitions are hotly contested,” Terry Copeland says. “Teams come from all over New Zealand to represent their schools, and we are thrilled to see the development of these young students, particularly those who enter the FMG Young Farmer of the Year following their experiences in TeenAg competitions. 

“Massey Young Farmers last year grew by 96 members and the Lincoln University Club has added 40 members. 

“Overall, NZ Young Farmers membership has increased by 176 in the year to date.”

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