Finding better ways to do your job is good for you and the farm. Every day as an employee you are making decisions which directly affect the efficiency and productivity of the farm.
Before you select training
It’s important to know your goals and career ambitions. What are your current skills and where do your strengths and weaknesses lie? Here are some resources to help:
- Skills assessment – The skills assessment chart can help you identify your training needs.
- Career pathways – Farm roles and typical career pathways.
Is formal or informal training right for me?
Training generally comes in two forms:
- Formal - The teacher or school sets the goals and learning objectives. Examples include Primary ITO, Telford, Taratahi; Lincoln, Massey and Waikato Universities; and Dairy Training Ltd.
- Informal - Usually the learner gets to set the objectives and learning goals. It often happens in context of a current problem for example, DairyNZ discussion groups and on farm training by a colleague or manager.
The kind of training you select depends on your needs but having both is common.
For some aspects of the farm system you may only want informal training. It’s best to discuss this with your farm manager and make a plan. For examples, see the People Productivity Kit that outlines solutions to manage employees for great performance.
Which organisations are best?
Do you think a university degree or a more practical focused course better suits your career and goals?
A university qualification will give you great grounding in the detail. You can study any aspect of the farm system from the science behind grass and how fertiliser can influence growth to how the business side of the farm works.
Primary ITO provides training through accredited providers for New Zealand’s primary industries.
Primary ITO training can give you a theoretical understanding of what you see in your day-to-day farm work. People usually study with Primary ITO while in fulltime work, this kind of training can be a bonus included into your contract. Courses are seasonal based so you can relate what you are studying directly back to your farm work.
Primary ITO courses cover most parts of the farm system from human resources to reproduction, are generally part time, and meet regularly for one season.
For more information see Primary ITO
On farm training providers
Usually provide practical training in block courses to give you the skills you need for your day-to-day farm life.
Applying your training to the farm
Training works best for you and the farm if you take the time to see how to apply your training to real-life farm system situations. Farm managers often encourage questions as it shows you have a keen interest in how the farm operates.