For most of the students, it was the first time they had milked a cow

Urban students aiming for rural careers

by Mike Isle

Christchurch student Cameron Brewitt has traded a holiday sleep-in to experience milking a dairy cow for the first time.

The 17-year-old was one of 27 students who visited Lincoln University’s dairy farm as part of the Rabobank FoodX programme designed to promote careers in primary industries to urban students in Canterbury.

Students from 13 high schools visit a range of agri-businesses.

“It was an amazing experience,,” said Cameron. “Prior to the programme, I wasn’t really interested in agriculture or studying it at university, but I’ll now be giving it strong consideration,” said Cameron.

“Rabobank FoodX has been such an eye-opening experience. We got to see all of the different jobs available in the agri-food sector, and many of them pay well.”

The programme is a joint initiative between Rabobank, Lincoln University and NZ Young Farmers (NZYF).

“By 2025 the primary industries will need an extra 50,000 skilled workers,” said NZYF’s David Highsted, who signed students up for the programme.

“This initiative is another way to try to connect with urban students and encourage them to consider the range of exciting agri-related careers on offer.”

FoodX was funded by Rabobank and facilitated by Lincoln University.