Taranaki agricultural students, their whanau and guests celebrated the success of graduating students at a prize-giving and graduation ceremony on December 14.
More than 100 Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre students graduated from agricultural programmes in 2015.
A highlight of the event was speaker Jayden Harvey, currently the Central Taranaki Young Farmers Chairman. 22-year old Jayden also recently won the South Taranaki Youth to Work, Young Achiever award.
Grant Kobus, delivery manager for Taratahi in Taranaki, said Jayden was "a fantastic example" of a young person determined to be a success in agriculture who had achieved many of his own goals through sheer determination and hard work, taking every opportunity given to him.
He hasn't just had a farm handed to him on a plate. I think our students can really relate to someone like Jayden and will draw inspiration from him to become successful in their own lives and as they move into their first farming jobs.
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Many of the students graduating from Level 2 introductory programmes will move onto higher level training with Taratahi in this year, working towards a Level 3 pre-employment qualification.
Several awards were presented.
A standout was the Taratahi Taranaki Tutor Trophy awarded to the overall top Level 4 student. Bella-Kinza Ward was presented with this award after completing the National Certificate in Agriculture.
Bella-Kinza started training with Taratahi at Level 2 in 2013 and is now employed as 2IC on 500 a cow dairy farm just out of Stratford.
"Study has given me the confidence to go out there and do the work that I have found I love," she said.
It also opened the door to dairying in the first place" Bella-Kinza said.