Why would we, as a country, produce low value meat alternatives to stuff in a hamburger for a fast food chain to feed to overweight, disinterested consumers?
Applications for FAR's 12 month graduate programme which offers a chance to gain a thorough grounding in all aspects of the arable industry while working within it, close at the end of July.
FAR chief executive Nick Pyke says the programme is open to recent graduates with a degree in science, agriculture or agricultural commerce who want a career working with some of the world's best cropping farmers.
"Our graduate programme provides the opportunity to work with experienced agronomists and internationally recognised researchers and make connections in the cropping industry throughout New Zealand."
For current graduates Tim Brooker and Sophie Blair, the chance of working with numerous people, crops and organisations and having their own projects to work on were the key reasons for applying for a place on the FAR programme.
Blair is from a mid-Canterbury sheep, cropping and dairy support farm and graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Agricultural Science and Animal Science. As a FAR graduate, she has broadened her arable knowledge and gained personal development opportunities and experiences that will help in the industry. Her project is looking at the nitrate concentration in groundwater across the area between the Ashburton and Rakaia Rivers, east of SH1. The aim is to develop a greater understanding of nitrate concentrations with depth, sub regionally, seasonally and over time.
Brooker, who grew up around dairying on the West Coast, graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) and is focused on a career in the arable industry.
He says the graduate programme has provided a good introduction to cropping and a direction for future endeavours. His project is a monitor farm, focussed on economic and environmental sustainability of farming businesses. It will provide financial and physical benchmarks for farmers to help make decisions. It will also demonstrate how plot-level research transfers to field-scale farming.
Application forms are available on the FAR website far.org.nz or by contacting the FAR office 03 345 5783.