Thursday, 05 November 2015 09:28

Making it sexy! - editorial

Written by  David Anderson
John Brackenridge. John Brackenridge.

The Government has set a target to increase the value of New Zealand's food sector exports from $25 billion to $60b, meaning there will be an additional 50,000 jobs in the primary sector by 2025.

What must we do to encourage NZ's best and brightest to look to the primary sector for a career?

According to John Brackenridge, the head of Merino New Zealand and the leader of the chief executives' agri-bootcamp scheme that takes industry high-flyers to the United States, the current messaging aimed at attracting young people into the agri sector is unappealing and the wrong people are involved in that messaging.

Brackenridge believes NZ is missing the point in this area and is "stuck in a paradigm of traditional education and traditional approaches".

NZ's primary sector future is in the global food value chain (GFVC). Ours is strong in seafood, kiwifruit, apples, red meat, honey, health extracts, dairy ingredients and products, arable food, horticulture and finished supermarket products.

The value of products and services increases the closer you get to the final consumer. A key component of every value chain is highly skilled and knowledgeable people to manage each part of a business' value chain from paddock or ocean to plate.

For the agri sector to meet the ambitious government growth target our future scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs, economists, marketers and bankers need to form direct links to markets and to learn skills based on real life experiences and opportunities.

So it makes sense to target training and promotion of careers in the sector to get the required capacity for economic growth in the GFVC.

A great presentation of the agri sector's exciting future as a career path took place at Massey University's Institute of Agriculture and Environment ag students' dinner and awards night late last month.

This attracted 250 people – a record number – from all aspects of the industry keen to reward and promote the agri sector's prospects. Meanwhile, the wide array of high-achieving students on display shows how the 'best and brightest' of the country's young people are choosing careers in the primary sector.

"It reflects the excitement in the ag industry these days and the acceptance that we need more highly capable, smart employees," says Massey's head of Ag Peter Kemp.

If the calibre of students Massey and Lincoln universities are attracting is a sign, then perhaps Brackenridge and the wider primary sector can rest easier.

More like this

Editorial: Slow down!

OPINION: The latest Federated Farmers survey of farmer confidence paints a worrying picture.

Editorial: Another solid season looms

OPINION: Given what's happening around the world, New Zealand dairy farmers are on to a pretty good thing with its internationally envied farming system.

Editorial: Honesty needed!

OPINION: As the round of He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) farmer 'consultation' meetings continue around the country, cracks seem to be appearing in the voices tasked with promoting its options of tackling farm emissions.

National

Machinery & Products

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results…

JD unlocks its digital system

As a long-term advocate of digital technology, John Deere has taken the route of mass data capture, rather than concentrating…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fruitful change?

OPINION: Your canine crusader notes that meat company Silver Fern Farms has undergone quite a refresh over the last few…

All for show?

OPINION: The Hound notes that Fonterra is cashing in on the curent government's largesse with taxpayer money.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter