Agribusiness in Schools celebrates 10 years

// Staff and Training

The nationwide Agribusiness in Schools programme recently celebrated 10 years of showcasing agricultural career pathways for school students.

image of olivia weatherburn

Since its pilot at Hamilton’s St Paul’s College in 2013, the highly successful programme is now offered in over 120 schools across New Zealand and 4000 students.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is a Principal Partner of the initiative alongside DairyNZ.

“It has been a game changer equipping students to be involved in the food and fibre industry and helping teachers promote our sector and its many possibilities,” says B+LNZ’s National Extension Programme Manager Olivia Weatherburn. 

The Agribusiness in Schools programme evolved out of a 2013 St Paul’s parents survey that demonstrated parents wanted more support for its rural students in encouraging them to consider pathways into the primary sector.

“Due to its widespread success, the programme not only has shown rural students what careers they can have within the industry, it has also helped to positively change both school and community perceptions of the primary sector,” says Weatherburn.

This academic agribusiness in schools course offered at NCEA Levels 2 and 3 exposes students to the wide range of skills required and the opportunities available in the primary sector beyond the farm gate.

“What is great about this initiative is that it is in partnership with the Ministry of Education, NZQA and the primary industries to ensure we equip our future sector workers with the right skills,” says Weatherburn.

The programme has also developed resources to support teachers implementing Agribusiness which is available to anyone. Access them here

The establishment of Regional Hubs have been a successful initiative from the Agribusiness in Schools team. The Hub workshops provide teachers the time to build professional practice, the mentoring is tailored meaning support for individual teachers is where and when required, and the Hubs are an efficient way to develop and distribute teaching resources.

“Overall, the programme is increasing trainee teacher numbers and teacher capability across agribusiness which is a win win for our sector and the food and fibre industry as a whole,” says Weatherburn.

Learn more about Agribusiness in Schools

Agribusiness in Schools in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, NZQA and the primary industries have collaborated to design an agribusiness programme that will prepare the best and brightest students for careers in the primary sector.

Learn more about the programme by visiting the official website.

Follow the programme’s social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tik Tok.