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Big Drive To Grow Skills Across The Food And Fibre Sector

A new partnership between Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games and Farm 4 Life Hub will allow participants in the third annual Allflex Clash of the Colleges to practise their skills before they take the field to compete against secondary students from throughout the mid and lower North Island.

The online video learning platform, Farm 4 Life Hub, has more than 750 videos, all focused on providing people with a better understanding of life and work in the rural sector. Founded by Dairy Farmer Tangaroa Walker, a Kiwi legend with an online social media following of over 250,000, Farm 4 Life Hub videos reach up to 1.6 million people per month, and the total viewership has surpassed 67 million since inception. Farm 4 Life is currently in the early stages of gaining accreditation for its educational videos.

Walker is an avid supporter of the New Zealand Rural Games Trust, and both parties are dedicated to lifting skill levels across the sector.

"Through the Allflex Clash of the Colleges and the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games, we have a fantastic opportunity to connect rangatahi with Farm 4 Life Hub educational videos aimed at improving their skills."

"By upskilling those entering the food and fibre sector, they will be better prepared for the job and know how to handle the many situations that crop up."

New Zealand Rural Games Trust Chair Margaret Kouvelis MNZM said partnering with Farm 4 Life Hub, will help skill levels increase year on year.

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"Not only will rangatahi be enabled to compete in the Allflex Clash of the Colleges competition at a higher level, the partnership will also contribute to a broader upskilling of those entering the food and fibre sector and go a long way in inspiring them about the possibilities the sector offers.”

The Allflex Clash of the Colleges, in association with Talent Central and Inspire Net, is an annual competition set to be held in Te Marae o Hine (The Square) in Palmerston North on Friday 11 March 2021. Massey University Young Farmers Club helps run the event, which Kristi Atkins coordinates.

"The 2022 event will see teams of four, representing secondary schools from across the lower and mid-North Island, battle it out to be crowned the Clash of the Colleges Champions," said Atkins.

“The teams will have two hours to complete 25 hands-on modules covering everything from milking a cow and plant washdown to wool classing and body condition scoring, as well as paper-based modules that cover identifying seeds, weeds and fertilisers."

The event will be divided into two parts to allow for maximum attendance: junior students compete in the morning, and senior students compete in the afternoon. While not competing, rangatahi will attend the Westpac AgriFutures in association with Property Brokers and MPI, which runs alongside the Clash of the Colleges. AgriFutures is a food and fibre careers expo that provides secondary school students with the chance to explore career pathways and job opportunities throughout the entire food and fibre industry. Students of all ages are able to connect with study providers, industry associations and businesses from right across Aotearoa and map out their journey into the rural sector.

The backdrop to both events is the STIHL Timbersports® New Zealand Mens' Championship. That night is the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards at Awapuni Racecourse ahead of the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games on Saturday and Sunday.

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