Thursday, 12 November 2015 15:30

Academy to train dairy leaders

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Landcorp and Chinese conglomerate Shanghai Pengxin have jointly set up a venture to train future farm leaders – at no cost to those chosen for the course.

The Central North Island Dairy Academy will offer tuition, provided by Taratahi Agricultural Training, to develop "mid-level" leadership abilities of people already technically skilled or knowledgeable in dairying.

The 32 week residential course will combine theory, practice and onfarm work to Massey University Diploma in Agriculture level 5.

Ten students will be chosen per year for the free course. They must apply for places and will study on a Milk New Zealand farm -- Ariki Dairy Unit at Wairakei, near Taupo and live nearby.

Taratahi says the graduates will attain the Massey University Diploma in Agriculture levels and will develop leadership and analytical skills over and beyond the graduate skill base.

"Additional time over and above the prescribed 32 weeks may be required for learners who do not meet all competencies outlined in the graduate prior experience skill base," it says.

In addition to the Massey University Diploma in Agriculture units, the course will train in rural leadership, dairy effluent, artificial insemination, GrowSafe and milk quality. Developing a farm report for Ariki will also be a course component.

Students will live in houses on nearby Landcorp or SPG owned/managed farms. Their practical work will be on local dairy farms. Students will be encouraged to get casual work on Landcorp-managed dairy farms during their study breaks.

Applicants should be aged 18-25, want to work in dairying and have the NZQA Level 4 National Certificate in Agriculture or have attained the NCEA level 3 university entrance standard.

Alternatively they may be over 20, have one years full-time farming experience, aiming to become a farm manager in five-ten years and like the idea of working for a corporate farm.

Applications close on November 23.

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