Financial assistance from the Waikato Farmers Trust has enabled students from Hauraki Plains College to begin fencing eight hectares of land, at Hayward Farm, the school’s Agricultural Academy.
“The Primary Industries students are participating in the project and learning the hands-on skills of working on the fences,” says Anne Leonard, Funding and Sponsorship Coordinator at the College.
The Hayward Farm Project is an extension of the school’s Agricultural Academy, which aims to connect Primary Industries with positive social and learning outcomes for future generations. The Agricultural Academy teaches sustainable farming and land practices in the areas of agricultural skills, cattle and sheep health and management, agribusiness, fencing, orchardry, horticulture, beekeeping, forestry, free-range chicken farming, quad bike training and carpentry skills.
“The Hayward Farm Project is proving very successful for our students,” says Anne, “it is assisting our young people gain skills and knowledge to take into their first jobs and help them feel more confident.”
Students learn to farm sustainably and care for the environment, a transferable skill that can be applied to many areas of their home and working life. The students also achieve personal goals, tackle challenging tasks and learn how to problem solve issues, ultimately developing leadership and resilience, which are essential in rural and small communities.
"The hands-on skills help students to become more confident in their everyday lives and optimistic about a future in the Primary Industries,” says Anne. “The leadership opportunities that come naturally from this experience are wonderful for, and are needed in our small, rural community”.
The fencing project will be ongoing during 2021.