Urban students go beyond the farm gate with careers in dairy event

Media release on Year 10 students exploring career opportunities in the dairy industry at the Hawke's Bay Industry Big Day Out.

22 March 2017

Today up to seventy Year 10 students from six Hawke’s Bay secondary schools will attend the Hawke’s Bay “Behind the Farm Gate” Industry Big Day Out at Patoka.

Designed to encourage more young Kiwis to consider a career in New Zealand’s thriving primary industries, the day is a chance for urban students to see behind the scenes and discover the variety of roles that support a working dairy farm.

“One in six New Zealanders work in primary industries, but more youth are needed to meet our growing export demand,” says Careers New Zealand Acting CEO, Hugh Kettlewell.

“The Industry Big Day Out will allow students and educators to connect with industry leaders and employers, and open their eyes to the variety of roles, pathways and opportunities available,” says Hugh.

“We really want to showcase what a wonderful and vibrant industry dairy farming is, and show them the many rewarding employment opportunities it has to offer,” says event host and mechanic-turned-dairy-farmer, Nick Dawson.

“The day will be hands-on, and show that the variety is huge – you can be anything from a milk tanker driver to a vet, technician, banker or sales rep, or specialise in pest destruction. The options are endless!” says Nick.

Along with experiencing a milking demonstration and talks on feeding and agricultural machinery, students will discover the important role that science and technology play in the industry.

“The day includes a series of fun, interactive modules, including a demonstration on artificial breeding of dairy cattle, and the chance to check out a high tech Fonterra milk tanker on-site,” says Careers New Zealand Education to Employment Advisor, Lesley Leech.

“A module on dairy sustainability will leave a lasting mark on the farm, with every student having the opportunity to plant a tree on-site, thanks to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council,” says Lesley.

Industry professionals from Fonterra, BEL Group, Kitahi and Young Farmers will support and mentor students on the day with modules and activities, as well as sharing their own stories and insights into the industry.

“I encourage all participants to make use of the wide industry networks available at the event. The global scale of dairy, along with its growth and diversity, can offer you the opportunity to develop an exciting and dynamic career,” says Fonterra Hawke’s Bay Regional Manager, Tony Haslett.

Information and support will be provided to students interested in taking the first step into a dairy or primary industries career. Primary ITO, Ministry of Education and Careers New Zealand experts will be on hand to provide information and advice, and students can take home resources based on the Vocational Pathways framework.

Industry Big Day Out is a Careers New Zealand Education to Employment initiative. The Hawke’s Bay event is the third focusing on primary industries to be held nationally in the past year. 

Updated 22 Mar 2017