'Country Calendar', here we come!

Otago Polytechnic agricultural ākonga and kaimahi are set to star on the small screen as part of a forthcoming Country Calendar episode.

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The 30-minute episode, which will screen on TV One on Sunday 23 July, is the result of a five-day shoot held in Central Otago in March.

It is understood the episode largely focuses on the operations of Tinwald Farm, which plays an important part in ongoing innovations in providing practical, hands-on agricultural learning for Otago Polytechnic ākonga.

Recognising that farming programmes could not be effectively delivered solely in a classroom, Otago Polytechnic signed a memorandum of understanding with Tinwald Farm, a 744ha property between Cromwell and Wanaka that runs sheep and beef and also grows pinot noir grapes.

As a result, in 2020 Tinwald Farm opened its gates to Otago Polytechnic ākonga, who spend more than half of their academic time at the farm, where they are engaged in everyday tasks that enable them to meet academic requirements as well as gain the real-world skills and knowledge.

Otago Polytechnic’s High Country Farming programme, delivered from its Central Campus in Cromwell, offers a New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems; Level 3) and a NZ Certificate in Operational Skills (Infrastructure; Level 3).

“We are unique in delivering a high-country focus,” says Central Otago-based Lecturer Roger Williams.

“And having relationships with a number of farms and stations within the local farming community is vital to the effectiveness of our programmes – as well as to student engagement and success.

“I’m looking foward to watching the Country Calendar episode this weekend,” Roger says.

“Although I did have the camera pointed at me and was wired for sound, I’m unsure if I made the final cut!”

Footnote: Country Calendar Producer Julian O’Brien confirmed Roger has, indeed, made the final cut and will appear in a range of scenes, as will several Otago Polytechnic ākonga.


Published on 19 Jul 2023

Published on 20 Jul 2023