Agribusi­ness stu­dents suc­ceed

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - REBECCA MOORE

With an ad­van­tage of be­ing farm­ers’ sons, South­land Boys’ High School stu­dents are among those lead­ing the way with a new agribusi­ness pro­gramme com­ing to schools through­out the coun­try.

South­land Boys’ head of com­merce and teacher of the agribusi­ness course Nikki Ar­mishaw said the course, which was rolled out at the school this year, was de­signed to pre­pare top stu­dents for ca­reers in the sec­tor.

South­land stu­dents were brought up around a farm­ing cul­ture so they had a strong con­nec­tion to the agri­cul­ture side of the course, she said.

St Paul’s Col­le­giate School, in Hamil­ton, has worked with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, NZQA and the pri­mary in­dus­tries for three years to de­sign the pro­gramme which com­bines agri­cul­ture and busi­ness stud­ies, so stu­dents are able to learn about the value of prod­ucts and mar­ket­ing.

It was of­fered to Year 12 stu­dents, and next year would in­clude Years 12 and 13 with the aim to get stu­dents to com­plete two years and then re­ceive a cer­tifi­cate in the course.

On Tues­day, South­land Boys’ stu­dents had the chance to hear from cur­rent Speaker of Par­lia­ment David Carter and ask ques­tions about the in­dus­try and where it may be head­ing.

‘‘It was a priv­i­lege lis­ten­ing to his knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘We couldn’t have some­one bet­ter,’’ Ar­mishaw said.

Carter stud­ied a bach­e­lor in Agri­cul­tural Science at Lin­coln Univer­sity and has a farm on Banks Penin­sula.

Stu­dent Wil­liam Mur­rell, 17, said he was in­spired by Carter’s story.

He liked that the course was ‘‘a dou­ble hit’’ with agri­cul­ture and busi­ness stud­ies.

‘‘It’s not just for farm­ers but a broad range of peo­ple.’’

Stu­dents made cheese, looked at mar­ket re­search and how to ‘‘fu­ture proof’’ the sec­tor as part of the course.

Carter said ‘‘if you are de­ter­mined to own a farm, there are ways to get there.’’

New Zealand pro­duced ‘‘ab­so­lutely qual­ity prod­ucts’’, he said.

The school and South­land Girls’ High School were among about 11 schools in­volved in the agribusi­ness pro­gramme, Ar­mishaw said.

It is ex­pected the fully re­sourced agribusi­ness teach­ing and learn­ing pro­gramme will be avail­able to all New Zealand sec­ondary schools by 2018.

REBECCA MOORE/STUFF

Par­lia­ment’s Speaker David Carter, MP Sarah Dowie, Bray­den John­ston and rec­tor Si­mon Coe.

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