Otago Polytechnic

High country farming programme

Location

Central Otago

Duration
One year full-time
Delivery

On campus with work placement on a high country station in Central Otago 

Credits
132-134
Level
3
Start
February and July
  • Location
    Intake
    Study breaks
  • Central Otago
    24 July 2017
    25 November 2017 - 11 February 2018
    30 September 2017 - 15 October 2017
    14 April 2018 - 29 April 2018
  • Central Otago
    12 February 2018
    30 June 2018 - 22 July 2018
    14 April 2018 - 29 April 2018
    29 September 2018 - 14 October 2018
Do you want to gain work-ready farming skills?

Farming careers are fun and rewarding and there is strong demand nationally for passionate people who want to work with livestock in the farming industry. This Central Otago-based qualification is the only farming training programme in New Zealand with a high country flavour.

With an emphasis on the ‘hands on’ approach to learning, this outdoors-based programme will prepare you for a career in agriculture. Covering a wide range of skills, you also have the added benefit of on-farm practical assessments, as well as work placements on local high country stations. Upon succesful completion, you will be able to be employed in pastoral farming/rural-based workplaces under limited supervision. 

Successful graduates of this programme will gain the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) (Level 3) AND the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure) (Level 3)

Entry requirements

  • There are no academic entry criteria for this programme.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.5, with no band score less than 5.0.

Selection criteria

1. You will need to have a full drivers licence.

2. You will need to provide a letter of application. Your letter of application should comprise no more than 500 words and should explain: 

  • why you have chosen to apply for the two programmes within this qualification - New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Skills) (Level 3) and New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure) (Level 3)
  • your expectations of the programme
  • your career goals in the field of agriculture
  • the steps you have already taken to progress your career goals. 

Alternatively, you can provide a 5-minute video of yourself covering the same points. 

3. Please supply supporting references and details of any farming experience with your application.

If the numbers of applicants who meet the selection criteria exceed the available places, a waitlist will be used to ensure preference is given to applicants in order of application.

Additional costs

You will be expected to bring outdoor clothing suitable for a high country environment. Please ask us if you would like a list of required clothing. Email central@op.ac.nz 

You will study

Course name Credits
Apply theoretical knowledge of key farming inputs to pastoral farming systems 30
Assist with key livestock production tasks in a pastoral farming context 30
Utilise technology within pastoral farming systems 5
Assess and minimise risk to self, others and equipment 10
Apply theoretical knowledge of sustainable practices to pastoral farming systems 10
Identify and assist with the management of workplace hazards 5
Carry out a range of activities related to the use and/or maintenance of workplace vehicles, machinery and infrastructure 40

During this programme, you will learn the basic skills needed to work on a farm. This will include:

  • Fine wool production and woolshed operations, including hand-piece skills and wool handling
  • Animal health and welfare
  • Pasture plants, production and management
  • High country farming skills including mustering
  • Tractor skills
  • ATV skills
  • Sheep and cattle handling skills
  • Agrichemical use
  • Water systems
  • Fencing
  • Pest and weed control
  • Weather
  • Machinery maintenance
  • Chainsaw safety and use
  • Farm health and safety
  • Animal husbandry
  • Livestock breeding
  • Soils and fertilisers.
Entry requirements
  • There are no academic entry criteria for this programme.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.5, with no band score less than 5.0.
Selection criteria

1. You will need to have a full drivers licence.

2. You will need to provide a letter of application. Your letter of application should comprise no more than 500 words and should explain: 

  • why you have chosen to apply for the two programmes within this qualification - New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Skills) (Level 3) and New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure) (Level 3)
  • your expectations of the programme
  • your career goals in the field of agriculture
  • the steps you have already taken to progress your career goals. 

Alternatively, you can provide a 5-minute video of yourself covering the same points. 

3. Please supply supporting references and details of any farming experience with your application.

If the numbers of applicants who meet the selection criteria exceed the available places, a waitlist will be used to ensure preference is given to applicants in order of application.

Additional costs

You will be expected to bring outdoor clothing suitable for a high country environment. Please ask us if you would like a list of required clothing. Email central@op.ac.nz 

You will study
Course name Credits
Apply theoretical knowledge of key farming inputs to pastoral farming systems 30
Assist with key livestock production tasks in a pastoral farming context 30
Utilise technology within pastoral farming systems 5
Assess and minimise risk to self, others and equipment 10
Apply theoretical knowledge of sustainable practices to pastoral farming systems 10
Identify and assist with the management of workplace hazards 5
Carry out a range of activities related to the use and/or maintenance of workplace vehicles, machinery and infrastructure 40

During this programme, you will learn the basic skills needed to work on a farm. This will include:

  • Fine wool production and woolshed operations, including hand-piece skills and wool handling
  • Animal health and welfare
  • Pasture plants, production and management
  • High country farming skills including mustering
  • Tractor skills
  • ATV skills
  • Sheep and cattle handling skills
  • Agrichemical use
  • Water systems
  • Fencing
  • Pest and weed control
  • Weather
  • Machinery maintenance
  • Chainsaw safety and use
  • Farm health and safety
  • Animal husbandry
  • Livestock breeding
  • Soils and fertilisers.
Work experience

In Term Four, those who are ready are able to participate in a farm-based, work placement experience to apply their skills in a real-world environment. This also provides an opportunity for gaining valuable contacts in the farming industry. To be eligible for work experience, you must be competent in core areas such as health and safety, quad bike use and basic stock handling. You must have also demonstrated a passionate attitude towards working in the agriculture industry.

Further study options 

After successful completion of this programme, you can continue studying farming at Level 4 or diploma-level whilst working on the job.

Links to useful websites
Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.

Disclaimer

While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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