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Auckland students meet PM during a visit to Fieldays

Auckland students meet Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a visit to Fieldays

The Prime Minister has encouraged Auckland students to consider a career in the primary industries.

Jacinda Ardern kicked off an Amazing Race food challenge for 50 students at Fieldays in the Waikato yesterday.

The race saw the teenagers zigzag across the site of the largest agribusiness event in the Southern Hemisphere.

“I’m hoping that you’re here because you’re interested in working in the primary industries,” Jacinda Ardern told the students.

“The goal by the end of the day is to have made that passion even stronger because the sector is so important to New Zealand.”

The Amazing Race is designed to show city students the variety of career opportunities available in the agri-food sector.

The event is organised by NZ Young Farmers and funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

“It’s about showing city kids that there is more to food production than cows and gumboots,” said Leeann Morgan from NZ Young Farmers.

One of the students was Patricia Leiter, who is studying biology at Glenfield College.

“Meeting the Prime Minister was amazing. When I woke up this morning I had no idea that was going to happen,” said the Year 12 student.

“I’m really interested in the research aspect of the primary industries.”

“Taking part in the Amazing Race has helped highlight career possibilities I was previously unaware of,” said Patricia.

Huia Nathan travelled from Waiheke Island.

“I have found today so interesting. I had hardly heard of any of these businesses before coming to Fieldays,” said the Year 11 student.

“The trip has really opened my eyes to the careers available, especially around science and technology.”

Fieldays plays host to almost 1000 exhibitors and attracted more than 133,000 visitors last year.

Students visited sites of tertiary education providers, companies and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

They learned Lincoln University graduates could earn between $80,000 and $150,000 working as rural consultants.

“My highlight was touching a sheep for the first time,” laughed Year 12 Glenfield College student Mark Manuel.

“I’m studying biology and keen to work in the agri-food sector and what I learned today will help me choose a career.”

It’s the third time NZ Young Farmers has run the Amazing Race food challenge at Fieldays.

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