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