Farm train­ing cen­tre very pop­u­lar

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

A new agri­cul­tural train­ing fa­cil­ity in Pu­taruru is set to pre­pare stu­dents for farm­ing in the 21st cen­tury.

Taratahi Agri­cul­ture Train­ing for New Zealand has opened its doors to stu­dents this week, with the fa­cil­ity ex­pe­ri­enc­ing large num­bers want­ing to train there.

Taratahi Waikato Project Man­ager An­nie Cat­ter­all-Water­worth has been in­un­dated with both stu­dents want­ing to do the course and farm­ers look­ing at hir­ing po­ten­tial grad­u­ates.

‘‘ We have a wait­ing list of stu­dents want­ing to pur­sue a ca­reer in the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try as well as em­ploy­ers want­ing stu­dents upon grad­u­a­tion. We are very lucky to have the sup­port of a num­ber of farms across the South Waikato as well as lo­cal busi­ness sup­port,’’ Ms Cat­ter­al­lWater­worth said.

The fa­cil­ity, on Princes St in the old Carter Holt Har­vey en­gi­neer­ing site has been scrubbed down and is ready for learn­ing to be­gin.

‘‘Stu­dents will spend one day in our class­room here, and if weather per­mits will spend the re­main­der of the week on real work­ing farms learn­ing first­hand.’’

For­est View High School agri­cul­ture teacher Mary-Ann Mathis said the new fa­cil­ity would be a great av­enue for lo­cal stu­dents.

‘‘The cost of liv­ing has sky­rock­eted and hav­ing a fa­cil­ity in the district would give those stu­dents who would nor­mally go to Taratahi in Master­ton a choice to stay closer to home and save on costs.’’

Lo­cal MP Louise Up­ston de­scribed the cen­tre as a bril­liant ini­tia­tive for the district.

‘‘This is awe­some for our lo­cal peo­ple to come to a fa­cil­ity like this to de­velop their skills on the farm. We des­per­ately need young peo­ple in farm­ing and to have them trained lo­cally is bril­liant for our stu­dents and farm own­ers.’’

New stu­dent Aaron Dun­nett has gone from Auck­land city slicker to ru­ral liv­ing to com­plete the course. ‘‘I have al­ways been in­ter­ested in farm­ing and when I saw this course I knew I had to do it. I have friends in the area who do farm­ing so that will def­i­nitely help me when I grad­u­ate.’’

NEW JOUR­NEY: Stu­dents pre­pare for their first day at the new Pu­taruru Taratahi fa­cil­ity.

NEW RE­CRUIT: Lo­cal MP Louise Up­ston joins the Taratahi Agri­cul­ture stu­dents on their first day.

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