Attracting, growing, and retaining people in the red meat industry

// Staff and Training

Learn about Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) ‘People and Training’ initiatives and get an update on the different organisations B+LNZ collaborates with to ensure a bright future for New Zealand’s red meat sector.

image of young farmers

B+LNZ invests and supports growing, training, and retaining people in the sheep and beef industry. We do this by collaborating and providing funding support for other sector organisations to extend our reach and make a greater impact.

Below is an update from some of the initiatives and programmes B+LNZ supports. For more information and a full list of organisations B+LNZ work with, please visit this webpage.

B+LNZ Generation Next programme

The Generation Next programmes delivers three workshops over a 6-month period and is open to those aged between 18-45 who are actively working on a sheep and beef or dry stock property (associated levy payers) with a willingness to learn new technical skills, widen their network, and understand drivers to improving on-farm profitability of the sheep and beef sector.

Applications open each year in February. Previously, they have only been available in the South Island but are now open to those in the North Island too.

For any queries, please contact Olivia Weatherburn on 027 801 7868 or email Or find out more on our dedicated Generation Next Programme webpage

Funding Growing Future Farmers 

Recently, B+LNZ announced its funding agreement with Growing Future Farmers, who aim to accelerate a graduate’s career from entry level Essential Farm Skills programme to advanced Farm Skills and Business Management.

Growing Future Farmers combines a range of specialised industry training and development with formal NZQA learning that includes classroom lectures, independent study, and group sessions. It is a two-year programme (46 weeks each year) with placements in 10 regions throughout the country.

For more information about open days, applications, or anything else, visit the Growing Future Farmers website.

A win for the red meat industry’s future

Recently, the Muka Tangata Workforce Development Council appointed Jeremy Baker as their new Chief Executive. Jeremy was previously Chief Insight Officer at B+LNZ and has held other senior leadership positions in industry, government, and education and training sector.

The recent Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) resulted in the establishment of six Workforce Development Councils (WDC) that will give industries greater leadership and influence across vocational education and training.

Muka Tangata WDC, also known as People, Food, and Fibre represents agriculture, horticulture, fishing, aquaculture, equine, winemaking, silviculture and harvesting, and sports turf management.

It is a great win for the red meat sector to have previous B+LNZ Chief Insight Officer, Jeremy Baker, as the CEO of Muka Tangata.

Supporting Primary ITO

B+LNZ and Primary ITO work in partnership, with B+LNZ financially contributing to each new sheep/beef enrolment, supporting learners to upskill both on the farm and in the classroom. In turn, this supports the goals and aspirations of the business, having efficient and effective trained staff. Primary ITO offer vocational training – including apprenticeships – school and gateway programmes to over 600 learners across New Zealand including on specialised training farms such as Jeff Farm, Coleridge Downs Training Farm, Atihau Whanganui Incorporation and The Fairlight Foundation.

Central Otago and Southland-based Primary ITO training adviser, Bonnie Fogarty, says “Primary ITO has provided training for Jeff Farm for many years now through pastoral care and support through mentoring and organising classes and assessing.”

As of July 2020, until December 2022, the government is covering training fees for on-farm formal qualifications and apprenticeships. Full details and conditions can be found on Primary ITO’s website, or you can contact your local Primary ITO training adviser on 0800 20 80 20.

If you’re an employer with an apprentice, or apprentices, you may be able to take advantage of the Government’s “Apprenticeship Boost”. This runs through to August 2022 and is a subsidy through MSD for employers. For more information, visit the Work and Income website

Helping farm employers every step of the way

B+LNZ’s Employment Hub is home to useful resources to help employers, such as farm owners and manage It also offers an online module covering all the aspects of being a farming employer, including goal and target setting, recruitment, and selection, learning and developing staff, and wellbeing.

The module and resources are all free and easily accessible on the Employment Hub.

Learn more

Learn more about B+LNZ’s People and Training workstream