DairyNZ education facilitator Susan Stokes says the number of young people undertaking formal training is nowhere near demand.
“We have a real shortage of young people for both on-farm positions and rural professional roles. Just about every graduate has multiple job offers as demand far exceeds supply,” says Ms Stokes.
To help attract more young talent into the dairy sector, which has an aging demographic, DairyNZ has created a careers booklet outlining the variety of roles available, and answering questions they may have.
“We want to open people’s eyes to the opportunities available to them in the dairy sector. Milking cows is, of course, the foundation, and there are many other roles too, from working on-farm through to agri-business or agri-science positions,” she says.
DairyNZ’s Sally Peel grew up in Auckland and has found her niche in dairy. She works alongside farmers, scientists, rural consultants, agricultural retailers and DairyNZ colleagues developing resources, such as feed budget templates, for use by farmers.
“I have the best of both worlds. Some days I get out onto farms, other days I’m in the office not far from Hamilton city shops and cafes,” Miss Peel says.
Her advice to young people considering a role in the dairy sector? “Give it a go, and try something new. Studying agriculture-related subjects can open a lot of doors, both on and off-farm, and in the other primary industries.”
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