A new initiative aiming to get more young people interested in agricultural careers from an early age is set to receive $146,000 in funding.
Youth Minister Nikki Kaye says this funding will allow 500 young people across the country to participate in TeenAg, an agriculture sector youth programme run by New Zealand Young Farmers.
The $146K investment is being made under the Partnership Fund, with the Government contributing $50K towards the programme, alongside $96K cash and in-kind support from partners including Red Meat Profit Partnership, DairyNZ, Lincoln University and Southfuels & Northfuels.
“TeenAg aims to promote a positive picture of agriculture and raise awareness of agricultural careers from an early age,” says Nikki.
“This is about supporting more young people to develop skills such as leadership and learn about potential career opportunities in the primary sector, which is such a vital part of our economy.”
The programmer consists of two core elements – ‘TeenAg Clubs' and ‘TeenAg Competitions'.
The clubs are designed to provide a context to learn about agriculture and develop leadership and broader life skills.
While the competitions will extend and challenge competitors outside of their comfort zones in order to build character and leadership skills.
Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller has welcomed this week's announcement, saying the fnding will support TeenAg to extend its reach into urban centres like Tauranga and Papamoa.
“The Bay of Plenty's economy has traditionally been built on the strength of our primary industries and although we have since developed other highly successful industries such as tourism and retail, agriculture and horticulture still remain valued and important components in our regions success.
Todd's seen first-hand where a career in the primary industries can take people, having held senior roles with both Zespri and Fonterra before entering Parliament.
“If a young person in the Bay picks up a career in this field they can expect to contribute to New Zealand's productive economy, meet some real salt-of-the-earth kiwis, and have a lot of fun along the way.
“I'm proud to be a part of a National government that is backing our young people, backing our rural communities, and backing our primary industries to succeed.”
To learn more about NZ Young Farmer's TeenAg programme visit: www.teenag.co.nz