Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre has been announced as one of three finalists in the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards in the Trainer of the Year category.
The centre, which has a campus in the Bay of Plenty, was nominated by Neville Jopson and Anna Campbell from AbacusBio for the Trainer of the Year Award.
Taratahi teaches its students a range of farming skills.
Neville thinks Taratahi would be a worthy recipient of this award.
“AbacusBio have developed a relationship with Taratahi implementing a number of on-farm research projects. Taratahi’s scale and diversity of environments makes them an obvious choice to partner with on industry research projects.
“Since we began working with Taratahi it has become apparent that their students are more than just numbers. This has been especially evident during the implementation or management of trials. Every learning experience is maximised, whether it be explanation of the importance of these projects, or hands-on practical trial work.”
Neville says Taratahi take every opportunity to extend these experiences to students.
“This is invaluable for students as they gain exposure to the intricacies of experimental design, management and procedures.
“This illustrates to students the depth of the industry outside the farm gate and their involvement in these trials can help extend the research knowledge gained as they become more involved in industry.”
Taratahi’s sheep and beef manager Paul Crick is thrilled they have been named a finalist.
“Our team works extremely hard to create the best learning environment we can for our students. We teach where we farm so we make sure our students are involved in as many aspects on-farm as we can give them.
“It’s in New Zealand’s best interests that we are creating future farmers that are highly skilled, knowledgeable and passionate about this dynamic industry.”
Taratahi delivers a range of accredited training programmes, targeted to both male and female students, from urban and rural backgrounds.
On average, 90 per cent of students at Taratahi will gain a qualification with 95 per cent of these going on to find gainful employment.
Taratahi places emphasis on students developing the everyday life skills necessary as they transition from student life to the workforce.
The centre offers full-time courses, diploma programmes, extra mural study, short courses and STAR/Gateway programmes as well as the Primary Industries Trades Academy.
The main campus is based near Masterton in the Wairarapa, with non-residential campuses in Manawatu, Taranaki, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Northland.
While the third year Beef + Lamb New Zealand has held the event, it is the first year the awards have been hosted in the North Island.
Five key awards are at stake: Supplier of the Year, Science Award, Trainer of the Year, Innovation Award and the Service Award - honouring an individual or business making significant contribution to the sheep industry.
The award categories cover genetics, production, and business innovation.
The top breeders will be drawn from the Sheep Improvement Ltd SIL database and another five industry awards will be made to publicly nominated individuals or businesses, assessed by a panel of sheep industry experts.
The winner will be announced at an awards night on Wednesday, August 6, at the War Memorial Conference Centre, Napier.