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What standard of agricultural student are we creating?

Author: Wearing, Donovan

Organisation: Primary Industry Management

Published: September 2013

Country: New Zealand

Research type: Report

School liaison officers at the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre continue to struggle to open some secondary school doors. On occasion we are still denied the chance to spread the word about agriculture and to have the opportunity to update schools on the breadth of career pathways that exist and are being created. There are many interesting and cutting edge careers within the industry and it is very frustrating to be denied the chance to show these opportunities to students. In our training centres around New Zealand we educate young people who can take the agricultural industry from the 21st century into the next century and beyond. They will have a positive financial effect on the state of New Zealand’s economy. What is to say they will not also be helping the world to feed itself in the future? The reluctance we sometimes face is the misguided perception some people have of the agricultural industry. To be blunt, this perception is that the industry is the natural dumping ground for students who struggle with literacy or numeracy, have behavioural problems or are unmotivated. I am frustrated that this perception exists. We therefore need advocates around us to encourage schools and parents to see that agriculture is the industry to be in.