Thursday, 24 September 2015 13:55

Computer course for farmers, national rollout

Written by 

A course teaching farmers the basics of computing has attracted investment from the red meat sector.

Computers are now an essential part of running a farm business, says major investor, Beef + Lamb.

B+LNZ chief executive, Scott Champion says the course fits with RMPP's philosophy of helping farmers develop skills to make use of existing products, rather than inventing new ones.

He adds that an increasing array of services are being offered online. Having the skills to use them will help farmers make more informed decisions and better manage their businesses.

The project began two years ago when Pongaroa-based farm consultant, Rachel Joblin, ran the first basic computer skills course to meet demand from members of her local community.

It was such a success the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) is now funding a nationwide rollout.

Champion says "Computers are fast becoming an essential farm management tool and through its investment in RMPP, Beef + Lamb New Zealand is pleased to help make these computer courses available to farmers throughout the country."

Joblin's involvement in setting up the computer course happened almost by accident.

She explains that local farmers approached her wanting to develop basic computer skills. After investigating options and finding no local trainers, she decided to do it herself.

The course is aimed at developing the basic skills farmers need to run their businesses. Beginning with the basics, like starting the computer, to sending emails and using search engines. "There are so many ah-ha moments when you see whole new worlds opening up to them." says Joblin.

Many farmers have been relying on family members to use a computer for them, but that is not sustainable in a world where online communication is now the norm. "It's how other people want to communicate with us,"

Having a low level of computer skills hinders a farmer's ability to pick up other farm management tools such as Farmax, says Joblin.

The courses to date have run in Pongaroa and at Taratahi. Nigel Fleming, who manages an 890ha sheep and beef farm near Masterton, completed the Taratahi course. Previously he had relied on his wife, Brigid, to do all the computer work.

Nigel says he has learnt how to create files, so now has all of his killing data in one place, and adds that he is often sent contracts by email, which he is now able to manage online.

He says he was surprised at just how much he enjoyed the experience. It has given him the confidence to continue developing his computer skills. In the future, he hopes to use farm and cash management software.

More like this

Programme to take beef into future

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics is launching a beef programme, which it says is designed to generate more income for beef producers and the economy while also protecting the environment.

The power of good facilitation

“Without a facilitator, we would just have done that farmer thing and sat round, shuffled our feet and waited for someone else to say something,” says Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) Action Group member Reece Cleland.

Search starts for young ambassador chef

Applications are open for young New Zealand chefs to plate up their best beef and lamb dishes in the hope of becoming the very first Beef + Lamb Young Ambassador Chef.

Featured

 

National

Alliance pays back wage subsidy

After being dogged by claims about its entitlement to the wage subsidy, the country’s largest meat processor will now fully…

Gone Fishing

Late last year, Farmlands chief executive Peter Reidie announced he’d resigned to take on a new job heading up Sanfords…

Machinery & Products

Good growth year for Claas

While many sectors of the agricultural machinery were hit by the ravages of Covid-19, the effects of the pandemic did…

Green machine frugal on fuel

According to the industry respected independent DLG PowerMix test, John Deere appears to be the best choice of tractor for…

App takes pressure off

TRS Tyre & Wheel, owned by Trelleborg Wheel Systems, has introduced the TLC Plus App to the New Zealand market.

New MF 5S series arrives

Just before Christmas, Massey Ferguson quietly released details of the successor to its popular MF 5700S range in the shape…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Seriously?

Your old mate reckons the nomination of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) management team as a finalists in…

Good riddance!

The Hound reckons 2021 is off to a rollicking start with news that professional whinger and anti-farming drone Martin Taylor…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter