A new era begins for Telford
It was out with the old and in with the new at Telford this week, in a new month and a new beginning for the Balclutha-based agricultural training centre.
The Telford Farm Board kicked off its new relationship with Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre by holding a clearing sale on Tuesday, selling off surplus livestock and farm machinery that the Wairarapa-based tertiary provider will not need in the hand-over.
Telford Farm board chairman Murray Pilgrim stressed the farms hadn’t been sold to Taratahi, only leased. They remain intact under the board’s governance, and protected by the Telford Farm Training Institute Act of 1963.
However, Telford training qualifications will remain under the Lincoln University Telford Division arrangement until the end of the academic year.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy’s announcements last week referred to the transfer of on-campus assets from Telford to Taratahi.
Proceeds from the clearing sale would be used to settle the board’s debts, and re-invested into the farms to continue agricultural training, Pilgrim said.
‘‘We did a full inventory before the announcement. It was a tidy way of handing [Telford] over to Taratahi.’’
The sale signified a change in the way Taratahi would be operating, he said.
Taratahi would be providing lease farm vehicles, which were to arrive from the North Island in the near future.
West Otago-based Pilgrim said the last 12 months had been all consuming, with Lincoln University’s withdrawal, and during the search to find and secure a new tertiary provider.
‘‘I’m looking forward to just being a farmer again, and for the farm board to take more of a back seat.’’
He was also looking forward to seeing more students on campus and more courses.
Pilgrim paid tribute to farm board vice chairman and Dunedin-based accountant Richard Farquhar, who ‘‘worked tirelessly and did the bulk of the work’’ in the Taratahi negotiation and transfer.
He also gave thanks to Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan and councillors for their staunch support to both the board and Telford staff, in what had been an unsettling time, over the last year.
Murray Pilgrim and Richard Farquhar