Thursday, July 7, 2022

Agricultural educator sought

Landcorp Farming has called for expressions of interest to supply academic services to the New Zealand Dairy Academy. The establishment of an industry training centre was a condition of the purchase of NZ farming properties by the Shanghai Pengxin Group (see story page 11). The academy will be directed by Landcorp Farming under the auspices of Pengxin New Zealand Farm Management, the company set up by Shanghai Pengxin Group to manage its NZ farming interests. That company will own the academy. The Government Electronic Tenders Service website says Landcorp Farming is seeking the supply of student-centred academic services, targeted at student and industry needs and designed to ensure the academy earns a reputation as an excellent educational provider. The academy is most likely to be sited on Landcorp’s Cirenester Block, at Goudies Station near Reporoa. However, the educational environment will include many other Landcorp farms, including WPL properties and the neighbouring beef, sheep and deer farm at Gaudies.

Academy income will be primarily raised via student fees and industry training funding via the Tertiary Education Commission. Landcorp doesn’t want to replicate existing dairy training schemes but aims for the academy to produce high-level graduates who are well equipped to move into industry leadership positions. Landcorp said it developed the concept of the academy with the help of DairyNZ, Knox Educational Consulting Services, Lincoln and Massey universities, the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre and Telford.

The core course will aim to produce a work-ready dairy production manager-herd manager.

This core course is described as an intensive 18-22-month residential programme combining education, practical training and on-farm experience on a cluster of productive dairy farms. 

The first course will start in early 2015. The content will cover modern farming science and technology, as well as business, people, stock and pasture management.
Background documents emphasise the need for skilled and educated people to be developed for all levels of the dairy industry. They say the industry recognises there are insufficient avenues to attract and retain high-performing individuals as dairy workers, managers, owners and leaders.

Developed

They also refer to the Dairy Industry Strategy, which was developed to guide the industry to 2020. One of the five key strategy aims was to attract talented and skilled people to the industry and retain them.

The academy’s operational, academic, and curriculum guidance will be shaped by an academic board, which will report six-monthly to Pengxin New Zealand Farm Management’s board.

The academic board will consist of a Landcorp Farming dairy specialist, an external education specialist, an independent dairy farmer, a nominee from PNZFML and the Landcorp national manager, strategy and performance.

Curriculum input will be provided by Landcorp Farming and the contracted academic services provider, with the final approval of academic board.

The academy will be managed by an experienced agricultural educator, with educational and training delivery provided by an external partner, supported by the manager.

On-farm staff will be trained in coaching and have a strong knowledge base that will contribute to the development of course members.

The course members are expected to work closely with the staff.

The academic services provider will be responsible for:

  • Delivering to the academic board a core course programme that meets the educational philosophy and the aim for the course, and covers the curriculum.
  • Researching and developing with Landcorp Farming other appropriate courses.
  • Ensuring the delivery of services is conducted by the best people available.
  • Working with the course manager, partnering organisations and other organisations to develop and meet a workable timetable for the core course and any other courses.
  • Ensuring educational standards are met.

An academic audit will be conducted by an external auditor once a year. The audit will test that the course aim, educational standards, student welfare needs and other compliance requirements (fiscal, health and safety) are being met.

The academic provider will also be required to determine an appropriate qualification or qualifications for the learning achieved and to provide links to institutional or national qualifications.

Any academic qualification awarded must have national or international standing.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 4pm March 11.

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