Eleven agricultural students and two staff members from North Shropshire College’s (NSC) Walford Campus have recently returned from a study tour in New Zealand, the students were hosted by the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre and were given an insight into agriculture in New Zealand.
The visit lasted two weeks and included lessons and cultural visits, there was a focus on developing practical skills such as quad bike driving, using chainsaws, fencing and butchery. The students put the new skills into use on farms under the supervision of staff from Taratahi and experienced farmers, they mainly worked on sheep farms being that New Zealand has a record breaking sheep to person ratio and lamb is one of New Zealand’s main exports.
The group were accommodated at Taratahi College’s Masterton Campus in Waiarapa Taratahi. The Taratahi Agricultural College owns or manages on behalf of partners over 50,000 sheep, cattle and deer as well as over 2,500 dairy cows. The College was set up in 1919 to train servicemen returning from the First World War, and used again to train returning servicemen. In 1951, the Trustees decided to carry out extensive improvements and enlarged the activities of the farm to provide training for young people between the ages of 16 – 20 years. For a long time it was known as the Wairarapa Cadet Training Farm and changed its name in the early 1980s to Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.
One of the accompanying members of NSC staff, Chloe Bird commented, ‘We had an amazing time in New Zealand; we visited many dairy and stock farms and stayed on an isolated sheep station on the edge of the coast. The white water rafting along the Mohaka River was one of the highlights of the trip, giving the students the opportunity to see amazing tranquil scenery. We travelled over some of the most amazing (and hair raising) places. We travelled from Rimutaka Range to the capital city of Wellington and saw the geothermal activity around Lake Taupo and Rotarua with its bubbling, steaming sulphur holes in the middle of town, it was a fantastic experience!’
There is still time to apply for qualifications in Agriculture! For more information, please call the College Admissions Department on 01691 688080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, you can also apply online at www.nsc.ac.uk.