City school students learnt about the opportunities for a career in the red meat sector at a special event organised by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP).
The Amazing Race scavenger hunt event, held at the National Fieldays at Mystery Creek on Thursday 15th June, saw two busloads of students from Auckland meet a number of RMPP partner exhibitors from across the sector.
The students were instructed to seek out a wide variety of sector exhibitors and ask them questions. This included Greenlea Premier Meats where the students needed to find out how many vets were required in the red meat industry.
“The aim was to open their eyes to some of the many opportunities available through a fun challenge – and it was very successful,” said Diane Falconer, RMPP’s project manager for People Capability.
“An important part of the work RMPP is doing as part of the seven-year Primary Growth Partnership programme is to ensure we have a pipeline of talented individuals entering our sector so it continues to be successful.
“The students were really enthusiastic and a lot commented that they’d had no idea there were so many career choices in the agricultural sector. Teachers also said they would be continuing conversations back at school to learn more about career opportunities.”
Kylie Taffard, director of trades academy at Kelston Girls High School, said: “The day was amazing and such a great opportunity for our girls. For a number of the girls, it was their first time out of Auckland and it was first time they have seen the opportunities, ideas and links to the farm.
“Most are studying geography and six of the girls are in their Trades Academy programme. Our geography teacher came with us and is now looking at how he can incorporate different standards into his teaching to link back, now that the girls have had this experience.”
Shahnaz Faumuina, a Year 13 student at James Cook High School, said she was particularly interested in finding out how foods are produced: “It was really interesting and really different to what I expected. We don’t get to see how the products are made, we just consume them.”
Dr Julie McDade, a trained vet and current business development m
anager at Greenlea Premier Meats Ltd, said: “Students were surprised to hear that over 200 vets were needed every year. For us, getting people to understand the importance of a range of careers within our sector is critical to our success.”
The day culminated in a prizegiving at the New Zealand Young Farmers tent, where the students were joined by Hon. Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries, Hon. Louise Upston, Associate Minister of Education and Fieldays President Peter Carr.