The Shanghai Pengxin Group (SPG) and Landcorp Farming Limited (Landcorp) joint venture has established a new training facility to contribute to the development of future dairy farm leaders in New Zealand.
The brand new training facility will be known as the Central North Island Dairy Academy and training will be delivered by Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.
Terry Lee, President of Overseas Investment, Pengxin Group, recognises that while the current climate for New Zealand’s dairy producers is challenging, market demand for skilled people in mid-management level roles (eg. herd or production manager) in the dairy industry is not satisfied by the current supply, and this has been a bottleneck for dairy farming for years.
“The Dairy Academy’s programme has been designed to meet current and future needs of the industry by providing mid-level leadership development for ambitious people who already have some level of technical skill or knowledge of dairying,” he said.
Selected students may also gain employment as Herd Manager/ Dairy Production Managers on Landcorp or Shanghai Pengxin dairy farms after completion of the programme. A scholarship of $10,000 is also planned to be awarded annually by Shanghai Pengxin each year.
Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden says the Dairy Academy will take 10 students a year, selected through an application process.
“The programme is fully funded by the Shanghai Pengxin/Landcorp joint venture and will be at no cost to the student. Landcorp is committed to the development of young talent in New Zealand’s agriculture sector and the Dairy Academy will sit beside Landcorp’s other investments in training programmes across the country,” he said.
The Academy will operate on the Ariki Dairy Unit, currently owned by Pengxin, in the Wairakei District, near Taupo. Students will live in housing on nearby Landcorp or Shanghai Pengxin farms and combine classroom study with practical application of learning on the Ariki dairy farm. Students will be encouraged to gain casual employment with Landcorp on its nearby dairy farms, primarily in study breaks.
About the programme
The Dairy Academy will offer an intensive 32-week residential programme combining theory, practical training and on-farm experience. Additional time, over and above the prescribed 32 weeks, may be required for learners who do not meet all competencies outlined in the graduate prior experience skill base.
The Massey University Diploma in Agriculture (Level 5), delivered by Taratahi, will form the back bone of the programme but will also include other relevant quality programmes, including Taratahi’s Rural Leadership programme, Primary ITO’s Dairy Effluent course, Artificial Insemination course, GrowSafe, Milk Quality courses and the requirement to develop a Farm Report for Ariki.
This combination of programmes has been designed in consultation with industry stakeholders to ensure that 10 graduates per year not only achieve the required outcomes of the Diploma programme but also develop the leadership and analytical skills that are over and beyond the graduate skill base.
The first intake is planned for 15th February 2016. Expressions of interest are currently being taken for a position in the Dairy Academy. Interested applicants should contact Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre’s Wairarapa campus on 0800 TARATAHI or visit www.taratahi.ac.nz to register their interest.