Over 350 students gained insight into the many agricultural-related careers available to them when they took part in Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Food and Fibre Challenge at last weekend’s AgFest.
Held in Greymouth over two days of sunshine, the event attracted huge support from the West Coast community and on the first day, one school brought along 194 year 9 and 10 students just to take part in the Food and Fibre Challenge.
The Challenge sets participants various tasks and to complete them, the students had to visit different sites at AgFest and learn about the associated business or industry.
The second day attracted families and younger children who enjoyed their own bingo-type challenge.
Olivia Ross from B+LNZ organised and coordinated the Challenge after successfully running a similar event at this year’s Southern Field Days. She says 25 businesses got in behind the AgFest Challenge providing great spot prizes along with information about their particular industry.
Three lucky students even got a ride in a helicopter thanks to Anderson Helicopters.
In running the event, Olivia was supported by two other B+LNZ Extension Managers, Laura Lake and Briar Huggate, along with Northern South Island Director Phil Smith.
She says as well as generating a lot of foot traffic to their sites, she believed the signage associated with the Food and Fibre Challenge generated awareness and interest in agricultural-related businesses and industries.
Olivia says she was grateful for the financial support from Ministry for Primary Industries, PGGWrightson, TNL Freight, Southern Institute of Technology and Land IQ Insights.
As well as running the Food and Fibre Challenge, the B+LNZ team also spoke to farmers attending AgFest about how B+LNZ is working on their behalf to find practical solutions to aspects of environmental regulations, developing the Taste Pure Nature brand and providing them with tools and resources to support their business decision-making.