Farming courses expanded

By Annette Lambly

An inaugural training partnership between NorthTec and Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre formed last year has enjoyed such a successful year that an extended programme is now being offered.

Agriculture is Northland's fourth largest industry and biggest employer with dairy, beef, deer and sheep farms all represented in the region.

The partnership offers programmes on a range of farms and venues. They teach practical skills as well as NZQA qualifications.

Included are animal husbandry, soil and crop management, fencing, ATVs, chainsaws and land management.

The Whangarei partnership last year saw 12 students gain their Level 3 general farm skills qualifications and five achieve their certificate in farming skills (work ready).

Luke McIvor, 20, received the trophy for top Northland student.

At Taratahi Rodney, 28 students gained the Level 3 general farm skills qualification and nine the Level 3 fencing qualification.

The top award for this campus went to Alexander Yelavich, 21.

A spokeswoman for the training partnership, Natalie Bowie, said: "The marrying of regional experience (NorthTec) with technical expertise (Taratahi) has meant great outcomes for our learners and for the region.

"We had some fantastic students, most of whom have gone on to jobs in the sector or into further training."

An expansion of courses includes the national certificate in agriculture Level 4 and the introduction to farming - a fees-free course being run in the Rodney district - as well as a national certificate in farming skills (work ready) from a new base, a farm in Matakana.

Enrolments for all courses are still open.

Courses include Level 2 introduction to farming, which runs from February 11 at the Rodney campus, and the Level 3 certificate in general farm skills, with rolling enrolments throughout the year.

Taratahi also offers Level 3 national certificate in farming skills (work ready) from February 11 and July 22 from the new campus at Matakana and Level 4 national certificate in agriculture.

Representatives from Taratahi will be at site 647 at the Northland Field Days, from February 21 to 23, in Dargaville to chat about courses.

Taratahi have been training New Zealanders in agriculture for 93 years.

They have bases throughout the North Island with their main residential campus just out of Masterton in the Wairarapa.

This year they have opened bases in Putaruru, Morrinsville, Ngaruawahia and Te Awamutu.

- Northern Advocate

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