EIT and UCOL Wairarapa offer "on the land" taster courses from one to six weeks in length at the Taratahi Agriculture Training Centre in Masterton (dairy farming, heavy vehicle licensing, agriculture contracting, fencing, beekeeping and more). The courses are free and include meals and accommodation and everyone can sign up. The courses are held until December (rolling start dates) – for exact start dates and to enrol people can contact UCOL.

EIT's Taratahi Expo Day (for people who need more course info or information about "on the land" careers): August 3, Dannevirke, 9am-noon, corner of Christian and Hamlet Sts.

The week taster course option is an introduction to ignite your taste buds and see if you want to go further. It includes visits to local farms and industries, and an introduction to:

■ Overview of the industry and job opportunities

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■ Operating farm vehicles

■ Fencing

■ Pasture management

■ Farm animals

Simon, Alex and John will share their wealth of experience, career advice and guidance, and coach participants through the many career options available.

Simon leads the team and grew up on a dairy farm in Pahiatua.

"The Taratahi Taster Camps are a great opportunity for people to give it a go. You can ask any questions of the team, and between us we will share our thoughts and knowledge with you."

Alex is originally from Chile, and has always had a passion for the land. Alex is a New Zealand resident, with experience on dairy farms, tutoring, management and speaks Spanish and English.

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John started in the automotive agricultural machinery business, and has travelled extensively observing and working in many agricultural disciplines.

Simon, John and Alex are at home in the outdoors and will be joined by local industry offering their experience to work as part-time tutors.

The opportunities are there and this could be the gateway to a new life. The work is satisfying, there are many different directions you can go in and find your niche. The Wairarapa experience has the potential to change lives, open doors to a new career and a multitude of options when it comes to employment, personal wellbeing and growth.

Combined with the thousands of Taratahi alumni who are everywhere in the food and fibre sector, there is plenty of scope to contribute to New Zealand's biggest export earning sector and the local economy.

The sector is huge and it needs people to meet world demand.