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Student gains from insight into agricultural careers


Student gains from insight into agricultural careers

New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) in conjunction with Beef + Lamb New Zealand and DiaryNZ offers a number of agricultural programmes that highlight and promote career opportunities for young people in the Primary Industry.

One young farmer who has taken up the challenge is nineteen year old Genevieve Stevens. She attended a Get Ahead Careers Experience Day in 2011 at Washdyke. “The Get Ahead Day opened my eyes to a lot of different career pathways and to the idea of overseas opportunities”, Genevieve commented.

As a result of the Get Ahead Experience Day Genevieve started up and chaired the Craighead TeenAg Club. “Get Ahead really motivated me to set up the TeenAg Club to encourage more girls to get involved in agriculture”.

Now in her first year at Lincoln University on a DairyNZ scholarship, she is studying Biochemistry, Animal Sciences, Plant Sciences and Management papers. Her ultimate goal is moving into biological farming. “I plan to work in an advisory role to help farmers apply biological farming principals to their own farming systems”, said Genevieve.

While with the Craighead TeenAg Club Genevieve also competed in the TeenAg Regional Final event. The annual national competition combines both practical hands on learning and theoretical components of agriculture. Miss Stevens is continuing her involvement with NZYF and is currently on the fundraising committee of the Lincoln Young Farmers Club.

Genevieve made the most of the opportunities available from the programme and took part in the In2 the Field programme, where students are paired with an industry professional to get a real world experience. She spent a day on the job with a fertiliser representative where she got a real taste of the industry.

Get Ahead is an industry initiative with Beef + Lamb New Zealand and DairyNZ as the primary sponsors. “The aim is to showcase roles such as business and marketing to science and economics as potential career choices for students”, commented Rosie Todhunter, Get Ahead Project Leader.

Since its inception in 2011 there has been a 42% increase in the number of attendees. This year the programme attracted over 1260 students to the ten Experience Days held throughout the country. Genevieve’s experience gives an insight to the opportunities available for students keen on a future in agriculture.

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