A new era be­gins for Telford

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MARY-JO TOHILL

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

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