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Annual Report 2007 Responsiveness and Innovation


2007 National Certificates Hours of skill imparted

2,666 2.5 million

Modern Apprentices (at year end) Trainees in training mployers engaged in E Agriculture ITO training


10,836 4,082

Contents 3 Performance Scorecard 2007 4 Chairman’s Report 6 CEO’s Report 8 Our Partners 11 New Learning Programmes 12 Reporting Value Added 14 Developing Our People Conference 15 Industry Good Activities 16 Sector Highlights

People in Our Industries

20 Dairy – From Strength to Strength 25 Sheep and Cattle – A Family Affair 30 Poultry – From Jordan to Cambridge 32 Water – Best in the Bay 34 Agriculture ITO Staff 2007 36 Organisational Structure 38 Regional Field Team 40 Regional and Industry Committees 42 Agriculture ITO Directors 43 Auditor’s Report 44 Financial Statements

Cover: Rory O’Brien, assistant herd manager, Horsham Downs, Waikato. These pages: Arthur Dunstan (known as Budda), shepherd on Taringamotu Otamakahi Trust farm, near Taumarunui.

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Vision World class at developing

human capability for our industries

Mission ‘can do’

Deliver people to grow productivity, profitability and sustainability within our industries • Ensuring best practice learning for the future, today • Developing skills and knowledge of individuals for personal growth

• Engaging actively with those who can make a real difference to deliver on enterprise, industry and government strategy • Collaborating strongly with industries to influence government policy and funding • Ensure we consider environmental sustainability in all our actions

Values Agriculture • • • •

Customers are our focus Achieving is our aim Respect for all is our goal Excellence is our standard

Agriculture 2

Foundation Values

Inspirational Values

• We are a spirited team with energy and commitment • Our quest is to be the best we can • We are courageous in our decision making, never compromising our integrity

Performance Scorecard 2007 Industry Sector Results Trainees

Credits Achieved

Hours of Learning Achieved

Certificates Achieved






Sheep and Cattle




















Rural Services












Modern Apprenticeships Modern Apprenticeships active during the year Modern Apprenticeship completions

Quarterly Targets and Actuals 600

Target =







Actual =


9,000 8,000


500 7,000












2,000 100


1,000 0

0 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter

1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter

Modern Apprenticeships


Credits and Certificates


1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter

Standard Training Measures

Employer Satisfaction













Totally Satisfied




90 80







60 50 40




30 20

1 0


Certificates (excluding LCP’s)


Not Satisfied At All

10 0

Total Employers

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Chairman’s Report 2007 has been a year of rapid change and innovation for Agriculture ITO. We have explored new training opportunities. We have reached people who have missed out on training until now. We’ve re-packaged our training and qualifications to make them shorter, more practical and relevant and therefore more likely to be picked up by a broader spectrum of our industries. We’ve targeted new skill areas of vital importance to farmers and to New Zealand, introducing training for employers in rural staff management and milk quality. These measures were all huge steps forward for our organisation and they have been well-received by our industries. The funding of short tertiary courses has been a controversial subject in the tertiary sector. In recent years some providers have attracted widespread criticism for running short courses of dubious educational value. The idea of short courses has become tainted by association and many were axed in 2006. To its credit, the Government has accepted that in a 24/7 industry such as agriculture, short courses are often the only practical means of upskilling the workforce. This has proved to be an enormous breakthrough and has made our training and qualifications accessible to thousands of people on the land who were previously not attracted to nationallyrecognised, structured training. It is not simply a matter of scheduling either. Short bursts of learning also hold great appeal in a practical industry where people have been out of the education system for some time and are reluctant to commit to multi-year qualifications. What we are finding instead is that people will often complete a short course that is practical and oriented to their business and then acquire a taste for learning again. Over time, this will make them much more likely to consider a qualification. A customer-driven focus is essential for any successful business and for too long we have applied a one size fits all approach to tertiary learning. The time has come for much greater flexibility in the funding of industry training and I applaud the Tertiary Education Commission for its forward thinking. Flexible delivery in manageable packages of learning is the future and our funding mechanisms and quality measures must reflect this reality. Changes of this magnitude of course have had a major impact on the ITO’s staff. Our field staff in particular have had to adapt to this new approach. In 2007 we introduced a new structure which saw field support staff employed to handle the recruitment and administration for short courses. This move has left our training advisers to concentrate on their core business of managing long-term training agreements. The availability of shorter courses had led and will continue to lead to a major expansion of training agreements. By freeing up the training advisers from administration duties, we are giving them more time to focus on their customers. I acknowledge the hard work and adaptability of our staff in confronting these challenges. 4

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

The ITO’s profile has never been higher among the industry. This too has brought its challenges as an increasing number of individuals and groups approach our organisation to sponsor or support them. The ITO has had to balance these industry good activities with the reality that there is not a funding stream from government to support leadership development training and other activities. For this reason we have had to prioritise what we can support and ensure that any industry good activities are ‘win-win’. We want to nurture the industry’s future leaders, but this must happen in a sustainable fashion. That’s why, in future, the ITO will be looking for partnerships with potential sponsors once these initiatives are successfully up and running. More change is on the horizon. The Tertiary Education Commission has begun a review of all land-based education and training – whether in meat, wool, dairy, horticulture or arable. The effectiveness of the government’s investment in tertiary learning in these areas will be closely scrutinised in terms of value for money and impact on national economic and social goals. Obviously the Agriculture ITO is keenly interested in the outcomes of this review and I will be part of that review process. This has been a period of tremendous growth for the ITO. Last November’s staff conference was a valuable opportunity to take stock of progress and welcome new staff members on board. Some growing pains are inevitable and this has been reflected in the feedback gained through the staff survey last year. The levels of staff satisfaction in 2007 were not as high as 2006, an indication of the pressure staff were facing. The Board is committed to addressing this and providing clearer communication to ensure people feel well informed about new directions and fully able to contribute to their ideas and feedback. I am confident that if we do so, satisfaction levels will soon return to their previous high levels. The ITO has also strengthened its relationships with other key industry players such as Federated Farmers and Fonterra. Feedback from both organisations has helped create a sound foundation for our expanding on-farm training. Change is something that none of us can ignore. On a personal note, I recently completed a milk quality training course myself to ensure my skills and knowledge were current and my practice was sound. My staff had already completed the course and I realised that all of us need to keep learning if our industry is going to continue to lead the world. It’s the same in areas such as rural staff management. Gone are the days of small family units running a farm. Farms are now much larger, there are usually two or three staff besides the owners and farmers must learn the skills of being good employers. They must be able to manage, direct, motivate staff. They need to provide career pathways that will help them retain staff. The age of lifelong learning for everyone in our industry is here. We have spoken about it for a long time, now the reality is with us. New areas of learning are emerging all the time. The whole topic of environmental sustainability, once the preserve of academics and scientists, is now the stuff of day-to-day

farming. The Agriculture ITO is working with Fonterra to develop modules to teach farmers and their staff these skills. This learning is not about keeping up with a trend, it’s an essential step to secure the future of farming. I would like to express my thanks to the Board for their support and guidance of the organisation, both in the boardroom and in the regions. Our board members all take a keen interest in what is happening in our industries at ground level, and I believe this connection is very important to staff, our partner organisations and our employers. On behalf of the Board, I’d like to express our thanks to Kevin and his team for the results they continue to achieve for our customers. These are exciting times to be in the business of agricultural and water industry training. As an organisation we must continue to fine tune what we’ve done so well for more than a decade. We must be quick on our feet and not burden ourselves with unnecessary layers of bureaucracy as we grow. Let’s be confident. The signs are positive. On all fronts, training for our industries is growing and they are demanding more sophisticated products and services. Now, more than ever, we must respond in kind. Tony Wilding – Chairman

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


CEO’s Report – Doing training right This has been a watershed year for Agriculture ITO. It has been a year of growth and innovation, with plenty of demands and challenges to go with it. The various sectors in our industries face very different challenges. Whether it’s the boom of the dairy sector or the tougher conditions prevailing in sheep and cattle, or the labour shortages affecting many of our sectors, a skilled and motivated workforce is critical to improving productivity. Human capability development is a huge issue for our industries. Not only do we need to raise the skills and qualifications of those already working, we also need to retain our workforce and attract talented newcomers to the rural and water industry sectors. We need to be looking well ahead and making sure that we have the skilled people to step into the shoes of today’s farm managers, rural professionals and those running the agricultural and water infrastructure businesses that support our nation. Addressing these issues, in partnership with other sector organisations, has required a strategic repositioning for Agriculture ITO. At the heart of this shift is the need to ensure we are responding quickly and effectively to industry needs, and that we are providing employers as well as employees with the skills and knowledge required to be successful in the 21st century. We have made some solid progress in these areas over the last year. In partnership with Fonterra, we launched a Milk Quality course that has been very positively received by the industry. A broad cross-section of people has signed up for the course, ranging from brand new dairy workers to experienced milkers, dairy managers and farm owners. Course participants have ranged in age from school-leavers to those in their 60s. The Milk Quality course signals the arrival of a new type of industry training – short, topic-based courses which are of high relevance and quality, and are readily available to all. The Milk Quality course was launched in June after a six-month development phase and by the end of the year more than 1000 people from Kaitaia to the Bluff had taken part in the course. This was a fantastic effort by all those involved in the development of the course and also by our partner providers QCONZ and AsureQuality who had to work very hard to meet tight deadlines. Responding to industry demand in this way – quickly, efficiently and with a strong commitment to quality outcomes – is a challenge that we have embraced at Agriculture ITO. Another example of responsiveness and innovation is the new qualification in Rural Staff Management which was also rolled out to the industry in 2007. This course, supported by Meat and Wool New Zealand and DairyNZ, is designed to give employers and staff managers in all our industries the skills and information they need to improve their staff relations and help make their teams more effective. This new qualification is very significant in that it specifically targets employers. It is very encouraging that at a time when all industries are competing to attract talented people, employers are looking to raise their own performance as employers. Being a good employer, helping staff to become skilled and valuable on the farm or in the business, and providing career pathways for employees is essential if we are to develop a skilled and committed workforce for the agriculture and water industries. 6

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

At the same time as we were introducing these new courses, we also had a radical rethink of our existing qualifications and assessments processes. We asked our customers how we could best support them and the answer they gave us was simple. They are not interested in qualifications in themselves. They want staff who can do the job at all ages and stages, and they look to us to make sure that happens. Extensive feedback from industry, as well as the latest local and international research on training effectiveness, led us to the conclusion that our industries will be best served by new topic-based qualifications, which make training more relevant and practical. The core aspects of the new approach are shorter qualifications, organised around key roles on the job and a practical task-based approach to assessment with greater employer / trainer involvement. Research shows that employer / trainer involvement in training and assessment is the key to its effectiveness. A major programme of work developing these new packages of qualifications began in 2007. Broadly speaking, the new qualifications are designed to meet the needs of four groups of learners – new entrants, those with some experience, those responsible for day-to-day decision-making and strategic decision-makers. Overall these new developments represent a shift from an academic / educational emphasis to more of a workplace one. The new qualifications will place a greater emphasis on on-job performance and relate to meaningful chunks of learning on the job. A task-based approach to assessment will also simplify the assessment process and make it more relevant to activities in the workplace, where there is plenty of naturally occurring evidence. In 2007 we also took a leading role in developing new learning and assessment resources which will bring a high level of consistency and quality to agricultural and water industry learning across the country. The roll-out of these new qualifications and resources begins in 2008 with level 2 qualifications, followed by level 3, 4 and 5 qualifications and resources in 2009. It has been a major undertaking to make this change but I have no doubt it represents a big step forward in delivering the relevant and practical training that our industry needs. One of the key underpinnings of these new developments has been the work we have undertaken in establishing the value of training. Our industries as a whole will embrace training to the extent to which they believe that learning pays, that is, it makes a tangible difference to the bottom line on farms and in businesses. Recently we have carried out ground-breaking research which demonstrates that well-targeted training brings clear, measurable returns for farmers, trainees and the industry as a whole. As well as developing human capacity across the sector, our two-year Reporting Value Added project has shown that training adds $60 million a year to farming bottom lines in the dairy, sheep and cattle sectors. Early in the year we hosted Agribusiness Conference 2007 in Christchurch, with the theme of Developing Our People. This

landmark event brought together people from different parts of the industry and enabled an important discussion to take place about how to boost our workforce and improve the effectiveness of training. The conference attracted top international speakers, including Dr Robert Brinkerhoff, one of the world’s leading thinkers in training effectiveness and evaluation. It was a timely conference and really helped the industry to focus on training effectiveness. The key message was training offers robust rewards for staff and employers if it is done right. The steps that we are taking now are all about ensuring that ‘we do training right.’ We have listened closely to feedback from the sector and our work has been influenced by the latest thinking into training effectiveness. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board and the staff at Agriculture ITO for their hard work and commitment in 2007. The Board has been bold in tackling the issues facing the industry and is determined to put in place a human capability strategy which will see our industry prosper in the longer term. New concepts can be exciting but they can also bring their share of tensions and pressures. I would like to pay tribute to our staff who have had to deal with major and rapid change on many fronts in 2007. We calculate that there has been a 24% increase in activity in the 2007 year and our team has responded very positively to the challenge. Their commitment to the task and to our customers has been humbling. The success of our training over the year is also a reflection of the quality tertiary training providers we worked with to see learning delivered. We are extremely proud of the strong and positive relationships we have built up over many years, based on a common purpose of supporting and developing the people within our industries. They remain a vital part of our training into the future. Equally important are our relationships with employer trainers, whose support and commitment to improving their industries is an essential element in effective training. We simply could not deliver to our customers without the immense input from this group. I have taken this opportunity to talk about the challenges involved in being a leader in education and training for the agriculture and water industry sectors. In 2007 we had nearly 11,000 trainees in training – nearly a quarter of them female – and more than 4,000 employers were actively involved in the training process. A total of 2,666 National Certificates were achieved, and Agriculture ITO had over 500 modern apprentices in training. These are results we can all be proud of. Looking ahead I believe there is the scope to go from strength to strength in providing great learning opportunities for our industry. It is a very exciting future. We look forward to making the vision a reality.

Kevin Bryant – CEO

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Our Partners Agriculture ITO occupies a vital space as a key link between Government and industry bodies, assisting them to realise their policies and strategies for human capability development and improved productivity, profitability and sustainability.

a standalone qualification that would give Year 11 students knowledge of the three industries. The qualification would also contribute to NCEA. There is a real commitment to continuing this work.

Key relationship groups are our funding partners, including the Tertiary Education Commission, industry leaders and representative groups; training providers and other ITOs; and compliance organisations, such as the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Agriculture ITO is committed to meeting the training needs of all those in the agriculture and water industries – both employers and employees. At present, Government funding arrangements are targeted at upskilling employees only. Our industry, however, is made up of many small and mediumsized enterprises with demands for training from employers as well as employees.

Industry Bodies Our relationships with industry funders Meat and Wool New Zealand, DairyNZ, the Pork Industry Board and the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand are at the core of our ability to bring industry best practice into the nation’s rural sector. Similarly, we closely engage with the New Zealand Water and Wastes Association to improve levels of skills and training. Already strong connections with our industries were reinforced over the year through briefings on the impact of the Government’s tertiary reforms, input into the dairy industry human capability strategy, and particularly our review of pastoral and water industry qualifications. Agriculture ITO works with industry groups to identify, develop, and update our learning programmes, while they support and encourage their stakeholders to invest in training. 2007 was a particularly significant year for Agriculture ITO in this regard. Collaborating with our industries to research, evaluate and improve our training environment resulted in a new approach to qualifications development for the ITO – see the adjacent section, New Learning Programmes, for more detail. Developing a strong training culture among employers in our industries is vital to achieving industry goals of improved productivity, and we continue to collaborate with corporations such as Landcorp, Fonterra, PGG Wrightsons, RD1, Farmlands, Citycare, United Water and Fulton Hogan on promoting capability development. We highly value the support and expertise these groups contribute to our organisation’s strategic objectives. Increasingly, Agriculture ITO is being consulted by other organisations to facilitate education and training solutions to meet a broad range of needs across the industry. We continue to work closely with the Industry Training Federation to provide information to government agencies in policy areas that directly and indirectly affect ITOs, and provide support to industry stakeholders with briefing information on topical issues. An example of this is the School Curriculum Resource Development project, an outcome of the Human Capability in Ag/Hort group. This project has resulted in a suite of resources and tools for agriculture and horticulture teachers to use in the classroom and these industry-specific teaching resources continue to be developed. Another example saw Agriculture ITO join forces with the horticulture and forestry ITOs in scoping a project to develop 8

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

The ITO has continued in its effort to influence changes to the Government’s education funding policy. The support of our industry partners continues to play a vital role in campaigning strongly for changes to funding policy that will allow us to meet the training needs of employees, employers and the wider industry.

Providers Agriculture ITO has developed proven, effective relationships with its training providers over a number of years. The mix of providers – polytechnics and private training establishments – provides flexibility and enables us to deliver training in remote areas and on specialist topic areas. In 2007, Agriculture ITO worked in partnership with 21 providers to deliver training and qualifications, and during the year we met with Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics around the country to investigate ways of working with them to offer pastoral training in their regions. The outcome of those meetings was positive and work is continuing in this area. Providers contribute in a very substantial way to the success achieved by our trainees, and surveys of trainees and employers confirm a high degree of satisfaction with the quality of training delivered by our network of education and training providers. In order to ensure and enhance this quality, 2007 saw the development of a strategy to deliver improved levels of quality assurance for Agriculture ITO and its training providers. This has resulted in an increased number of moderators and moderation events, a shift to pre-assessment moderation and more engagement with our training providers. In addition, Agriculture ITO will for the first time develop learning and assessment resources to ensure quality and consistency nationwide, and incorporate industry best practice. Our providers have to meet a number of major challenges – including making the learning relevant, accessible and stimulating. By doing this successfully, they not only meet the learning needs of our trainees but also act as a catalyst for recruitment to the industry. Agriculture ITO’s partnership with providers lies at the heart of our industry training system and is a key factor in its success. We value their indispensable contribution, without which there would be no comprehensive industry training system in New Zealand.

Government Agencies Agriculture ITO very highly values its relationship with the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), and we were gratified this year to receive a 14 per cent increase in funding in support of our three-year investment plan. This was particularly noteworthy given that the pool of ITO funding available through TEC increased by only eight per cent. The funding outcome and Investment Plan are highly significant for the direction of the ITO. The plan sets out Agriculture ITO’s priorities and activities in line with the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy and Statement of Educational Priorities. These strategies describe an environment of high-quality learning, responsiveness to industry needs, meaningful outcomes and a high degree of flexibility and collaboration in the delivery of training. Our 2007 plan was strongly focused on Government priorities and goals especially in relation to economic transformation and environmental sustainability. The Government’s Tertiary Reform strategy, announced in 2006, is to be implemented from 2008. Preparatory to that have been a number of reviews for the tertiary sector and more specifically the industry training sector. Agriculture ITO has participated in working parties and made submissions, all aimed at providing the appropriate government agencies relevant and pertinent information. Agriculture ITO maintains a close working relationship with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to ensure the continued quality assurance of unit standards and qualifications and to report trainee results and awarding national certificates. The ITO also undertook extensive moderation of the assessment of unit standards in the sector, both in the workplace and in the training provider environment. Agriculture ITO has collaborated with a range of other government agencies on various projects. These include education agencies, the Department of Labour, Accident Compensation Corporation, Occupational Safety and Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Social Development and Te Puni Ko¯kiri. Strategic partnerships with relevant government agencies are a vital means of ensuring that a skills training agenda is advanced on a range of fronts and government resources are used as effectively as possible.

Waikato Agriculture ITO Regional Chairman Mike Visser addresses an AgriAwards evening, at which graduating trainees are recognised with qualification certificates and top trainees are awarded prizes.

Our 2007 plan was strongly focused on Government priorities and goals especially in relation to economic transformation and environmental sustainability. Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Ma¯ori and Pacific Partnerships Agriculture ITO continues to work closely with Ma¯ori and Pacific People stakeholder groups including government agencies and Ma¯ori representative organisations at local, regional and national levels. Increasing participation and developing capability in agriculture among Ma¯ori and Pacific people is vital for the industry as a whole and, particularly for Ma¯ori. As much as one million hectares of productive land is under Ma¯ori ownership. At the strategic level, our work with key government agencies and industry organisations resulted in a Cabinet directive in November charging the Training Working Group we are part of with completing a Training Strategy and an Implementation Delivery Plan. The group was to report to Cabinet by 31 March 2008. This directive is a clear signal that the Government wants a strategy that will work given input from key agencies, organisations and industry bodies. Agriculture ITO’s Implementation Strategy for Ma¯ori, developed with industry input, has as its first stage engagement with Ma¯ori farming entities. To date eight of the 12 targeted entities have been engaged with and all have a desire to enter into training for their employees, although at differing points of entry. There is also support for pre-entry/ apprenticeship training as a precursor to employment and formal on-going training. One outcome for Agriculture ITO in this process has been the collection of information and data from trusts and incorporations on topics such as farmed area, stock units and staff numbers. This data is critical to assessing and evaluating effective impact in the Ma¯ori farming market. We are also looking at how we can work with Ngai Tahu, possibly through our memorandum of understanding with Lincoln University, on gathering similar data in the South Island. Several programmes trialling effective ways to encourage young people from these groups into farming are under way.

Wider partnerships – Agriculture Services Limited (ASL) Subsidiary company ASL pursues a range of human capability project management and consulting opportunities which lie outside of Agriculture ITO’s core activities and funding. Whilst the agriculture sector remains a core market segment for the business, ASL also works in the wider primary industry sector and internationally. During 2007 ASL was actively involved in a range of initiatives that include: • Working with the FarmSafe Consortium supporting the reduction of the high rate of serious injury and deaths in the rural sector • Growsafe – ASL manages a database on behalf of industry • Developing a suite of employer and employee profiles for the Dairy Industry promoting good employment practice • Poultry training – successfully implementing vocational training for the largest poultry growing business in Fiji • Capacity building – contracting to an NZ Aid project in Cook Islands in the Fisheries sector • Project management of a range of projects including the development of a suite of training resources to underpin the revised National Certificate in Agriculture (NCA) qualifications • Participation in a Te Puni Ko¯kiri working party developing the Ma¯ori Land Development Training and Skills Strategy. ASL partners with industry, training providers and, where appropriate, government organisations on projects that support the development of human capability in its target markets. ASL initiatives are based on a “fee for service” funding model and complement the core services of Agriculture ITO. ASL is also exploring international opportunities in the Pacific Basin, South America and Asia that promote primary sector human capability development including initiatives that assist New Zealand business initiatives in those markets.

Waipapa Charitable Trust pre-apprentice farm training initiative at Mokai, near Taupo. Of the sixteen who started this course, six took up employment after the orientation. The remaining 10 went on to pastoral/mentor-based training. These trainees/cadets live on site, work on farm and undergo theory training in class, also on site. The initiative is primarily funded by the Waipapa 9 Trust, Te Puni Ko¯kiri and Ministry of Social Development, with assistance from Agriculture ITO, Meat and Wool New Zealand, the Ma¯ori Trustee and others. The cadets graduate in April 2008. Te Arawa Future Farming Trust – All of the second intake from 2006 have graduated, continuing to work in pastoral industries and taking up further training – with some moving into Modern Apprenticeships. The third intake began in July 2007, with one cadet graduating in November well before due date. The calibre of the young men and women entering training is improving. Both initiatives are evidence of increasing commitment to farming, economic growth and training and education in our sectors among Ma¯ori farming entities (trusts and incorporations). 10

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

Cadets on the Waipapa Charitable Trust pre-apprentice farm training initiative at Mokai, near Taupo, make the most of living on-farm.

New Learning Programmes Development initiatives undertaken last year, including working with our industries, research and an evaluation of our training environment, combined to influence a new approach to qualifications development for Agriculture ITO in 2007. Our ground-breaking research (see ‘Reporting Value Added’, page 12) into the value of training found that well-targeted training brings clear, measurable returns for farmers, trainees and our industries. Feedback from industry groups and our understanding of the latest international thinking on training effectiveness told us that training needs to be relevant and applied on the job to be effective. At the same time, an evaluation of our training environment found that qualifications were taking longer than anticipated to complete, and learners needed ‘line of sight’ qualifications that could be achieved in a timeframe less than a normal period of employment. This industry-sourced learning and evaluation was the background for our review of pastoral and water industry qualifications, and led to a new suite of learning programmes introduced from the second half of 2007.

Milk Quality Programmes Our strong relationship with Fonterra and our mutual drive to transfer industry best practice onto the farm led to the successful launch of Licence To Milk, Stage One, in June (Stage Two was released in February 2008). New approaches were developed for this training. Each stage requires attendance at only one five-hour workshop, followed by a period of implementing the learning in the workplace for one to four months, prior to one-on-one assessment visits by a Milk Quality specialist. The approach throughout this programme was to bring best practice on farm – good procedures and practices, well understood and well implemented. Milk Quality uses a new, integrated, task-based approach to assessment, which takes place on the job as part of a normal farm situation using naturally occurring evidence. QCONZ (Quality Consultants of New Zealand) and AsureQuality worked with us on workshops and assessments. The development and launch was an excellent example of how Agriculture ITO works to facilitate the strengths of different industry bodies into applications for the industry – in this case, our dairy farmers.

Rural Staff Management A similar approach saw the launch of another programme, this time focusing on people currently involved – or about to be – in employing others. The Rural Staff Management programme was developed with Meat and Wool NZ, Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, the TANZ (polytechnic) consortium and Agriculture ITO. Its aim is to increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of the employment and recruitment decisions participants make in their business. It helps those employing and managing staff to understand and learn techniques to make better decisions, and create a more productive and rewarding workplace. Nationwide we have seven approved tutors to deliver the four workshops that make up the programme.

In conjunction with the qualifications review, Agriculture ITO will develop its own user-friendly learning and assessment resources that take account of the literacy needs of trainees and their employers, while providing consistency and incorporating industry best practice.

The new

‘can do’ qualifications package:

• Strong focus on an employee’s ability and readiness to perform key tasks • Shorter, topic-based qualifications with plenty of choices • Relevant and responsive to industry requirements • Meaningful chunks of learning • Assessment relating to whole tasks • New learning and assessment resources to deliver quality and consistency. The first major review of the Level 4 National Certificate in Water Treatment, the Level 3 National Certificate in Wastewater Treatment, the Level 3 National Certificate in Water Reticulation and the National Diplomas in Wastewater Treatment and Drinking-Water Treatment with strands in Drinking-Water Assessment and Water Treatment (Site Technician), saw representatives from the water industry and local and central government working closely with Water Industry Training. The review and consultation process was highly successful with unit standards updated in line with the latest technology and work practices. The design and delivery of the unit standards are based on the ‘can do’ approach and task-based assessment. As a result of the water industry review, a new qualification in water services management was developed for people involved in the management of water assets. Development of the unit standards for the new qualification is almost complete. During the year we also began scoping further water industry qualifications in onsite domestic wastewater treatment, pipe jointing and irrigation evaluation.

During 2007 we also looked at the following packages of learning: • • • • • •

Fencing Maintenance Pest Monitoring Level 2 Poultry Levels 3 and 4 Rural Servicing Vet Nursing Rural Animal Technicians

Initial scoping for the following areas also began during 2007: • Levels 2-4 Sustainable Dairying • Tb testing for cattle and deer • Advanced Pork Certificate

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Reporting Value Added Research into the economic outcomes of vocational training in the dairy and sheep and cattle sectors. Perhaps the single most significant outcome for Agriculture ITO this year was the release of the report into measuring the economic value of training on farms, dubbed Reporting Value Added (RVA). This project began in response to a request from Government and our funding stakeholders – DairyNZ and Meat and Wool New Zealand – to examine the effectiveness of their investment through us, particularly in relation to: • • • • •

Value for money Safety and productivity Staff retention New technology and knowledge uptake Self-perception of industry participants.

• • • •

Mastitis detection Lameness detection Feed usage Heat detection (for conception)

Sheep and Cattle: • Animal management and welfare • Stockmanship • Pasture management

The RVA project was led by Agriculture ITO’s Business and Qualifications Development manager Fred Hardy, with team members from AgResearch and the private sector, and took two years.

The economic value of each factor was expressed on the basis of the number of animals an employee would have an impact on in an “average farm” situation; for dairy, 127 cows; for a sheep and cattle farm, 3000 stock units.

The researchers began by reviewing what methodologies existed for measuring the return on investment in training in the agriculture sector, and how they could be applied in the New Zealand context.

The next challenge became one of measurement of the impact of training on these factors, including the improvement in performance and the value of that performance after training had taken place.

They did not find much – not just in relation to agriculture, but in measuring learning effectiveness in general. So they set about adapting what they could find, and developing new methodologies to measure how training was evidenced in farming workplaces, and how that could be measured.

To achieve this, farmers were asked to rate their employees’ performance from 0–10 in the economic cost factor areas. By applying known data – for example the range of costs and incomes from high and low performance on an “average farm” – to farmer observations of employee performance before and after training, the economic benefit of performance could be calculated. Similar processes were applied to all seven economic factors.

To discover that, they went back to farmers and asked where they saw value in training and how much difference it made. But farmers were unable to quantify this, other than to say it had a benefit, and that someone had trained them, so they owed it to the industry to train someone as well. At this stage DairyNZ and AgResearch developed a group of “on-farm economic factors” – specific areas of capability or activity on a farm where an employee’s competence has a direct impact on productivity. For example, on a sheep and cattle farm, a well trained shepherd will recognise signs of internal parasite problems, environmental exposure risk and/or the potential for fly strike and will take action before weight loss or mortality occurs. This has a direct affect on farm profitability. Similarly, where an employee on a dairy farm fails to recognise a mastitis infection, or to draft out a cow under treatment, that poor performance will have a direct impact on the cash returned to the business – an inhibitory substance grade or penalty will reduce the milk payment to the farmer. Four on-farm economic cost factors were derived from dairy operations, and three from sheep and cattle.


Economic Cost Factors Dairy:

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

The survey and economic factor methodology gave a result at a point in time – October 2006. Results were based on the actual costs and potential income associated with the economic factors at that time. That is, milk was valued at the payout at the time and the costs of grades and inhibitory substances were those in force at the same time. The four dairy factors and three sheep and cattle factors have a range of skills inherent in the outcome, such as being able to ride an ATV, erect a temporary electric fence or work in the farm dairy. If any of these skills is lacking, it will affect the performance of the trainee in relation to the economic factors. Therefore the measurement of these identified factors covers most of the skill and knowledge requirements of a well trained employee. The final report aggregated results from these surveys to derive a final impact of training value add. Some people found no value at all from training. Others reported considerable value. Overall results indicated improved performance in the identified on-farm economic cost factors due to Agriculture

ITO training made a difference of around $8,000 per trainee, per year for dairy, and $17,400 annually for sheep and cattle. Industry-wide, this translated to a return on investment in training in the order of 3.4 to 1 in the dairy industry, and 4.9 to 1 in the sheep and cattle industry. With Government funding via the Tertiary Education Commission comprising about three-quarters of Agriculture ITO’s income, the study demonstrates that agriculture industries gain significant leverage from the portion of their producer levies voted towards industry training. On the other side of the fence, it can be seen the country derives great benefit in combining industry contributions – not just in cash, but in knowledge development and the packaging of best practice into learning that can be widely applied – with funding aimed at boosting economic productivity through training.

we believe is transferable to other industries – opening the possibility of licensing this intellectual property for researching other economic sectors. Our partnership and cooperation with our industries continues to strengthen, and the Reporting Value Added project gave us not only confirmation that our learning programmes are valued and valuable, but confidence and direction for new product development. As we move into an ever more challenging environment for land-based industries, building on this work will show even more definitively the value that training adds.

The RVA research delivered against other objectives as well. One of the clearest outcomes was the improved rate of career advancement Agriculture ITO training enabled. Those undergoing training could cut as much as a third off the average time it took to reach a position of senior management on a farm. Not least among the research findings was evidence provided by farmers themselves that trained staff delivered a return almost immediately – if the training was applied. This learning, combined with discussions with training evaluation expert Robert Brinkerhoff, have set a new direction in our product development (for more on the theories of Professor Brinkerhoff, see the report on the Agriculture ITO-led conference, Developing Our People, page 14). This was manifested very quickly in the development and delivery of a new learning programme targeting milk quality, in partnership with Fonterra (see New Learning Programmes, page 11). Further work will be done to achieve more robust dollar evaluations of training in this sector. This is likely to be in both a longitudinal research project over five years and by implementing the evaluation model pioneered by Professor Brinkerhoff and his business partner Dennis Dressler. But the research showed the positive impact training makes is undeniable, while the methodology we developed to separate out cost areas that training affects

Preliminary findings from research for the Reporting Value Added project were reported in a ‘wrap’ around the New Zealand Farmers Weekly newspaper in April 2007.

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Human Capability Conference

Developing Our People Recognising that developing human capability is vital in helping New Zealand’s land-based and water industries reach the next level of efficiency and sustainability, Agriculture ITO hosted in March 2007 the Developing Our People conference, in association with Telford Rural Polytechnic. The aim of this conference was to bring together representatives from industry groups, government, political parties, training organisations and of course farmers themselves, to help identify priorities in ensuring New Zealand agriculture has the people and the leadership it needs to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Some very clear outcomes were developed over the two days of workshops and presentations. These included: • The industry needs to address its public image • The industry needs a single voice to promote agriculture as a career choice that offers variety, challenge and personal development • Employers must take responsibility for providing the environments and conditions that will attract, retain and motivate skilled staff • Training offers real and robust rewards for employers and the industry – if it is done right. The two keynote speakers offered illuminating insights into how to address these issues, particularly on the last two points. Professor Robert Brinkerhoff, one of the world’s leading thinkers in training effectiveness and evaluation, explained that up to 90% of investment in training is lost through poor preparation and poor application. The opportunity cost to a business of ineffective training multiplies, as not using training already paid for means missing out on increased returns the new skills and improved ability could have delivered. Key to effectiveness, Professor Brinkerhoff argues, is identifying what specific goals a business wants to achieve. Then, by identifying the human capability needed to deliver those goals, the relevant training can be selected and training pathways developed. Finally, once the training has been delivered, new learning must be supported and encouraged in the workplace – or it will have been wasted, and quite possibly generated frustration in trained staff. Brinkerhoff’s simple message about planning and application struck home with many who attended – as did the dynamic presentation by Generation Y expert Peter Sheahan. Sheahan left the audience with no doubt as to the magnitude of the challenge agriculture faces in attracting members of this generation to farming. Accustomed to immediate results, exposed to far greater choice than previous generations, 14

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

Robert Brinkerhoff (top) and Peter Sheahan at Developing Our People. and growing up in an era of labour scarcity, Generation Y – whether they can afford it or not – has very different priorities to those of their parents. Strategies to attract and retain Generation Y include fixing the industry’s image, offering little rewards or benefits often, rather than larger gains less frequently, and speaking to them on their terms. Interact with them as equals, show them they are important to you – and they’ll reward you with their commitment and loyalty, Sheahan said. Farming has to run at a profit, like any other business. But the industry must ask itself, as a whole and individually, what it can offer to attract labour – otherwise it will always be stuck with those no other industry wants. The Developing Our People conference successfully raised awareness of the issues of attracting and developing a skilled agriculture workforce. Speakers, including guest panels of young industry participants, provided provocative input. And we owe particular gratitude to Doug and Dave Turner and staff of Rakaia Island Dairies, who generously shared their time and experiences of developing staff management policies when hosting the associated field trip.

INDUSTRY GOOD Agriculture ITO’s purpose is to enable the people in rural New Zealand to improve their productivity, skills and knowledge. Like many organisations, we seek opportunities that will both raise awareness of our mission and the people we work with, and celebrate their achievements. Recognising excellence, promoting our industries to career-seekers, supporting events in the communities we are part of, fostering leadership – these are all activities that fall outside our core business, yet are essential parts of any vital industry. Historically, the agriculture industry has excelled in understanding the importance of such “good for the industry” activity – competitions such as Sharemilker of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Golden Shears have become national institutions thanks largely to the efforts of countless volunteers over decades. The Farm Cadet scheme that was our predecessor itself is another example of an industry recognising the need to look after its own. We are conscious of this heritage, and take seriously our role in continuing the work of those who have built our economy, our infrastructure and our communities. Under the term Industry Good, Agriculture ITO supports a range programmes to raise the profile and capability of our industries. A summary of these is provided here, while throughout this report, a selection of experiences of people involved is captured in mini-profiles. We invite you to follow the links at the end of these to our website, to find out more.


More Info

AgriAwards – Annual award ceremonies recognising trainees across a variety of categories, held regionally with the support and involvement of local businesses.

Page 19

Skills Days – Often held in conjunction with AgriAwards, these days comprise a series of tests of ability across a range of on and off farm skills.

Page 23

Just The Job – A television series aimed at introducing people making decisions about their career to a variety of workplaces. Agriculture ITO arranged segments featuring the dairy, sheep and cattle, and water industries.

Page 27

Rural Source – A web-based resource repository and curriculum support programme for teachers of agriculture and horticulture. It includes a DVD library, reference library, and a board game for up to six individuals or teams.

Page 33

Bound To Succeed Scholarships – With financial support from FIL New Zealand, 22 Agriculture ITO and Water Industry Training trainees are put through a specially tailored three week leadership development course based at Outward Bound, Anakiwa.

Page 35

Ma¯ori Farmer of the Year – Bronze sponsorship of the competition for the Ahuwhenua trophy, first contested in 1932. Dairy and sheep/cattle farming excellence are recognised in alternating years.


Trainee of the Year – This award is applies across a number of the industries Agriculture ITO touches, and includes the top category at some AgriAwards, as well as ceremonies backed by the Pork and Poultry industries.


Future Farmers – A learning and career development programme that includes interaction with leading practitioners and exposure to their techniques and practices, sponsored by the Alma Baker Trust.


Golden Shears – Sponsorship for this iconic event held annually in Masterton, along with support for the programme publication for the New Zealand Shearing Championships in Te Kuiti help keep Agriculture ITO’s profile up in this increasingly vibrant community. Bound To Succeed participants test their balance at Outward Bound, Anakiwa. Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Sector Highlights A total of 10,836 trainees participated in learning programmes with Agriculture ITO in 2007, including 753 Modern Apprentice agreements. Over 4,000 employers partnered us in training their staff.

Framework For New Zealand’s Future Dairy Farming And Industry 2005–2015. Training is provided through a combination of practical learning and application on-farm, and off-farm learning. The aim is to produce ‘can do’ skills for the individuals and industry, in line with our learnings from research and industry consultation.

As the graphs and statistics throughout this report show, this training activity represents more than 2.5 million hours of learning imparted to people and our industries. It also demonstrates the significant support for and investment in productivity improvement and skill application by employers in the rural and water industry sectors.

Market penetration rates show that around 22% of those employed in dairy farming undertook some training, and 25% of all dairy employers had staff in training. This reflects good engagement with the industry, and we continue to seek opportunities to increase uptake in this sector.

Pastoral Sector The year was especially notable for the number of employers – farm owners, sharemilkers, farm managers – who entered training, demonstrating a growing awareness of the need and opportunities for continual improvement. This was in part due to the two new programmes we launched: Rural Staff Management and Milk Quality. Both programmes were developed in response to stakeholder feedback, with the involvement of Meat and Wool New Zealand (for Rural Staff Management) and DairyNZ. These shorter programmes drove a change in the pastoral staff structure of Agriculture ITO. Our national network of Training Advisers continues to focus on developing, implementing and achieving training plans for the farm business, considering the training needs of owners, employers and their teams, to meet current and future needs. To support the wider clientele base we envisaged would engage in our new and future short courses, a new Training Coordinator team was formed. Regional capacity and strength was vastly increased with this dual approach, and efficiencies gained within the business enabled us to train an extra 459 people and provide 32 more Modern Apprenticeships in Agriculture above our funding targets. Alongside the field force operation, a new Pastoral Business Team, all of whom are former Training Advisers, has been created. This concentrates on developing and implementing new and reviewed programmes to meet the needs of our stakeholders, and quality procedures and outcomes.

Dairy This sector was marked by vigorous investment as commodity prices rose; a growing labour shortage; and increased conversion of land to dairy farming. We continued to align training dairy farm activities that a trainee has achieved to the platforms in the Strategic 16

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

Trainee numbers continue to grow, as does the number of employers associated with our training. As noted, much of this growth is due to the successful introduction of the Milk Quality programme and the Rural Staff Management programme. Further growth is anticipated as we move to meet the changing needs and requirements of the industry. Agriculture ITO would like to acknowledge the financial contribution and support that DairyNZ provide us, and the strong partnerships with Fonterra, Westland Milk and other organisations.

Sheep and Cattle Our engagement with this sector remained strong considering the economic and climatic challenges it faced over the year. Factors such as weather and commodity prices are beyond individual control, making attention to those areas of the business that can be influenced all the more important. Market penetration rates for the quarter showed that 8% of those employed part time and full time in sheep and cattle farming were engaged in training in the quarter, and 10% of all sheep and cattle employers had staff in training. These percentages have remained reasonably consistent over time, allowing for a one-off increase in numbers in 2005 and 2006. We continue to align our training outcomes to sheep and cattle farm activities, in line with the key initiatives of the Growing The Future Meat & Wool New Zealand 2005–2006 document. As with all of our programmes, training was provided through a combination of practical and theoretical learning and application with the overall aim to produce ‘can do’ skills for individuals and the industry. We continue to strengthen our relationships with experts in all fields to ensure the knowledge transferred is the best industry has to offer. The area of sustainability is of particular concern to our major industry partner, Meat and Wool New Zealand, and we are in discussion with them regarding the development of suitable programmes. We would especially like to acknowledge the financial contribution and support that Meat and Wool New Zealand provide us.

Trainees by Ethnicity (%)

Other Industries

75 European

Industry training for the agriculture sector outside pastoralbased farming is handled by our team of Key Accounts Training Advisers, who work closely with industry bodies and employers to deliver training programmes for their teams.

18 Ma¯ori 1

Not Stated

Wool Harvesting 6



Pacific Islander

Tectra continues to recruit and train our shearing and wool handling trainees, with around 1200 people engaging in training during the year. The year saw a marked increase in the number of national certificates achieved over previous years which is testament to the quality of the training delivered and the value placed on it by the industry. 2008 will see the training programmes offered to the wool harvesting sector reviewed with the aim of ensuring that the future training needs of this important sector are met.

Trainees by Gender (%)

We are grateful for the continued strong relationship with Tectra, support and funding from Meat and Wool New Zealand, and continued support from the Shearing Contractors Association.

24 Female 76 Male

Poultry Poultry training continues to go from strength to strength with 150 people enrolled in learning programmes last year. We held the first National Certificate in Poultry Management (Level 4) off-job course at Massey University, the focus of which is to help participants gain skills in day-to-day management of a poultry operation. Two National Certificate in Poultry Production (Level 3) block courses, at Massey and Matamata, had good outcomes, with most participants completing assessments quickly.

Trainees by Industry Sector 2,000

6,000 2007






2006 4,000


Last year saw a large increase in the number of people learning core skills in the industry through our Level 2 qualification, especially in egg production. Massey University tutored the technical side and Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) Hawke’s Bay the generic skills.





500 1,000



The strong support of the Poultry Industry Association and the Egg Producers Federation is a particular feature of our engagement with the industry and its uptake of training.






Wool Harvesting

Trainee numbers from the pork industry continued to hover around the 50 mark. We ran two National Certificate in Pork Production Level 3 off-job courses, and a Herd Managers (level 4) course in Christchurch, as most participants were based in Canterbury. As with poultry, Massey University tutored the technical side and EIT Hawke’s Bay generic skills.

800 600 400 200

Sheep and Cattle


Seed Dressing

Rural Servicing



Pest Management



Artificial Breeding



Our pork industry training programme benefits immensely from the input of our provider, advisory committee, and the Pork Industry Board.

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Pest Control and Possum Monitoring Approximately 100 people were involved in Pest Control (Possum) training. This is done by a mixture of employer training and assessment with some distance education through Agribusiness Training in Christchurch. The National Possum Control Agency requires all new monitors to have three specific unit standards in order to become accredited. As well as ensuring that current training is updated to cover everything required in these units, we are helping existing monitors achieve the unit standards with a process of recognition of current competency.

Rural Servicing and Agrichemical Supply The rural servicing industry underwent a period of change and consolidation last year. Relationships with industry representatives remain strong and we look forward to working with the industry to better meet the particular demands for relevant training in 2008 and beyond. Our focus is on ensuring good overall training, while more experienced staff use smaller blocks of training to meet their skill or knowledge gaps. Training in the National Certificate in Agrichemical Supply has slowed down with most rural servicing companies now having enough staff with Approved Handlers for Supply qualifications.

AI and Herd Testing LIC continues to use our training for its staff in Artificial Insemination, with close to a hundred people in training over the year. Enrolments in Herd Testing qualifications have good potential to grow, as LIC encourages its technicians to gain the national certificate. We look forward to continuing to meet LIC’s needs in helping their staff gain national qualifications, and working with the other major player in this field, Ambreed, to develop appropriate learning programmes.

Water Industry Training The Water Industry Training business unit showed strong completion rates, with just under 200 trainees awarded certificates and diplomas at Levels 3, 4, and 5. The number of Modern Apprentices nearly doubled again in 2007, for the second year in succession. This is an encouraging sign, as the water industry shows a pronounced age demographic imbalance. Water Industry Training’s Modern Apprenticeship coordination service, including the personal mentoring, support and leadership development we provide with that programme, plays an increasingly important role in securing the future of our industry’s skill base, which like many others, saw demand for trained operators exceed supply. The year saw a significant investment of the Water Industry Training team’s time and resources into a comprehensive review of almost all water industry qualifications. In addition to the revision work resulting from that review, we engaged in the continued development of five new qualifications: Water Services Management, Irrigation Design, On-Site Wastewater Treatment Design, and Polyethylene Pipe Welding and Reticulation Supervisors. We look forward to these new and re-developed products coming on stream in the coming 12 months. 18

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

Stuart Urquhart, process technician for Watercare Services (right) and Izak Oktober, operator, keep an eye on Auckland’s water quality.


Norm Hewitt congratulates Southland Trainee of the Year Laura Smith.


Agriculture ITO AgriAwards


Held in most of Agriculture ITO’s 16 training regions


Organised by local Training Advisers with their Regional Committee

Southland Training Adviser David Barton talks about his involvement with AgriAwards – an event he is passionate about: “Yes it is a lot of work. It depends how big you want to make it, of course, and on support from your committee. But I love doing it. I love to see it come together right, and I want it top notch. They deserve a good night. “From our point of view it’s building awareness of the Agriculture ITO brand – who we are and what we do. “From an industry perspective it gives trainees, employees a sense of pride. And for employers, there’s a lot of pride too. They get to see how people they’ve helped move through in their careers – people who may have worked for them two, three or four years ago, getting awards.”

MORE INFO AT Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007



Strength to Strength Canterbury couple Adele and Graham Wells have got better and better at the business of farming, with plenty of help from the Agriculture ITO training system.


Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

When the prevailing nor’ wester meets a southerly over the Canterbury plains outside Dunsandel, the cows get a real fright. “Bang!” Dairy farmer Adele Wells claps her hands together, describing the recent change in the weather that signals the return of merino and Swanndri. A former nurse, Adele is now the joint owner – with husband Graham – of a 760-head dairy farm, where they run Friesians, Jersey crosses and a few milking shorthorn Ayrshire crosses – “for something different to look at,” she says.

Dairy Profile

Adele got together with Graham back in 1988. He was an engineer with a dream of being a dairy farmer, but she’d always vowed she’d never marry a dairy farmer. Somehow he talked her into it. By the time the pair had taken up a lower-order sharemilking position in Northland, Adele had reconsidered her views on farming. The Wells’ farm covers a 250-hectare block, 11kms north-east of the small Dunsandel township, on the way to Hororata. The spacious farmhouse stands close to the road, set apart

from the other farm buildings where the employees live, from 16-year old Jed’s “bachelor pad” to 25-year old Mark’s family home for his soon-to-be wife and three kids. There are extra bodies floating around today – two German students are finishing up a stint helping with the calving – so the farm is buzzing with activity. Adele’s horses munch quietly in the paddock next door and look hopeful for a ride. Pipi the miniature fox terrier is delighted to have so many people in her midst.

Left: Cow 226 receives a pat from her favourite, Graham Wells. Centre and right: 17-year-old Jed West is keen to learn and “going good”.

Agriculture AgricultureITO ITOAnnual AnnualReport Report2007 2007


Dairy farming here is on the up. A lot of proactive farmers are shifting down, says Adele, farmers who want to get ahead. Dairy conversions are happening all over Canterbury and the majority of trainees in the region are connected with the dairy industry. Even the cows are more productive down here, swears Graham. Study and training have played a pivotal role in the acquisition and success of the Wells’ farm, and in the development and growth of their four staff, who are all at different stages of training with Agriculture ITO. Adele started her own training for a National Diploma in Agribusiness Management through Agriculture ITO in Whangarei while the couple progressed to 50/50 sharemilking. Two years into the course, they made the move south to take up a bigger position. Adele slotted straight back into the course in Dunsandel and completed her qualification in 2004. She enjoyed learning how to analyse things and make better financial decisions. Talking to like-minded farmers in similar situations allowed her to share experiences and motivated her to get ahead. Adele’s diploma training and Graham’s advanced trade certificate in farm business management have enabled the couple to analyse their options properly and make the decision to move south and, ultimately, buy the farm they were sharemilking on. “My training counted for a lot when we approached the bank for a mortgage,” says Adele. “It gave me a lot of confidence and showed them that I had the skills to know whether it was going to work as a business. The pair feel pretty good about being their own boss. There’s the security of not being asked to move on, the putting down of roots – they have two children at the local primary school – and the satisfaction of being able to make the changes they want to make. Increased environmental pressures, like the supply of water, make it harder for Adele and Graham to keep ahead, they say, but they are still very positive about the future. “Things are going really well. We had a business plan in place but we’ve exceeded it – blown it out of the water,” laughs Adele. “So now we need to do a new one.” The dark southerly skies that dominate the farm on this chilly November morning hide the distant mountain ranges. It’s a backdrop many Cantabrians take for granted, but not Agriculture ITO Regional Training Adviser Kathleen Perry. She’s carved a large chunk out of her perfectly manicured hedge so she can see out to the peaks beyond. Kathleen lives just next door, which makes for a short hop to check on the progress of Adele and Graham’s four trainees. Like the Wellses, Kathleen’s relatively new to Canterbury, having swapped dairy farming in the Manawatu three years ago for an easier life, farming “low maintenance” deer. “I’ve been a dairy farmer all my life, but my husband and I just wanted a complete change in our lives. With dairy farming you work all the time, all hours. Deer are different, not as intensive. They pretty well look after themselves.” Kathleen’s fresh to the job as a training adviser, enjoying it so much it doesn’t feel like work. “What attracted me to the 22

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

“When we’re looking for staff, we look for people who want to learn and do the job well. We enjoy the challenge of making what they learn in class work out on the farm – putting the theory into practice. It’s really satisfying when trainees go to class and understand why they are doing those things.” – Graham Wells, Dairy Farmer

Below: Kathleen (left), Graham and Adele discuss training progress.


job was the chance to be out there, liaising with farmers and helping the trainees progress. It’s rewarding – encouraging them to learn and engage with things that interest them.” What makes Kathleen so good at her job, says Adele, is her farming background. “She’s done every single aspect of the job. She’s also got sons involved in training, so she communicates well with trainees and has a lot of skills to share.” A typical day for Kathleen kicks off with paperwork and phonecalls at home, then she’s on the road seeing farmers and trainees. As the majority of trainees are dairy, milking times govern her schedule. “I try and see around three farmers a day,” she says. “When I’m out on-farm, I’m generally seeing new people, or existing people who are training. I’m either talking about training that’s available or going through training with the employee and the farmer-trainer. We might be signing off credits for practical units or if it’s someone who’s doing a Modern Apprenticeship, we’re setting goals and targets for the next three months. I’d like to see more and more people doing Modern Apprenticeships – having those goals is a really important part of completion.” Kathleen covers a wide area, from the Waimakariri in the north to the Rakaia in the south, mountain to sea. She currently has 130 trainees in her charge – and aiming for 180 – as well as 16 Modern Apprentices, including 18-year-old David Ohs, who’s away from the Wells’ farm today. He dovetailed his training for two National Certificates into the Apprenticeship in 2006. He’s carving out a clear pathway to success, says Kathleen, and has big plans to own and operate his own sheep and cattle farm one day. She’s been impressed by the trainer-trainee relationships she’s witnessed since starting the job. “Generally the interaction between the farmer and the employee is very good. Farmers here are very supportive of training. I don’t have to go out there and sell the product – they’re calling me. It’s something that everybody in Canterbury seems to be aware of.” Graham and Adele saw the value of industry training even before they got involved themselves, and now encourage anyone who works for them to take up training opportunities. “When we’re looking for staff, we look for people who want to learn and do the job well,” says Graham. “We enjoy the challenge of making what they learn in class work out on the farm – putting the theory into practice. It’s really satisfying when trainees go to class and understand why they are doing those things.” The shortage of skilled workers within the industry means that, for Adele and Graham, staff increasingly come not from a farming background but “from town”. For these industry newcomers, farming life can come as a bit of a shock. “It can be hard for someone who has done a regular job in town where they turn up to work then go home at the end of the day,” says Adele. “It’s a lot for them to get their head around if the cows have got bloat that night or there’s some other drama, and they’ve just got to stay and sort it out. The next shift isn’t coming in to relieve them.”

Bruce Paton (left) assesses Michael Deal’s knowledge and handling of chemicals.


Skills Day


Held on farms once a year in each of Agriculture ITO’s training regions.


Hosting farmers – and their teams – are vital in this “entry-level” skills test. New Zealand Young Farmers are exploring options to integrate this event into their own Young Farmer of the Year contest.

Bruce and Julie Paton farm 800 cows on 265 ha at Ruakaka. For the past three years, together with staff and former Skills Day participants Damian Dixon and Charlotte Barr, they have hosted the Northland Skills Day. Bruce talks about his involvement: “If there’s one thing I’d say about the day is that it’s a way to give it a go in a very happy, safe environment. “Eight or so workstations are set up by people who know what they’re doing – who then take score as the field rotates round each task. “Setting up is not a big ask – 20-25 minutes does it – and it’s an incentive to keep the place tidy.”

MORE INFO AT Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Jethro “Jed” West from Christchurch arrived when he was just 15, an early school-leaver who became interested in farming after doing a six-month course at the National Trade Academy. He did a stint of work experience on the Wells’ farm and has since stayed on and settled in well. Now approaching 17, he’s part-way through his level 2 qualification, which he feels is “going good”. Like many young trainees, this is Jed’s first time living away from home. When he arrived, he didn’t know how to cook, or where his dirty socks went, recalls Adele. “When we took him on it was a bit like adopting him. He lived in the caravan to start with and ate with the family. I was like his mum – I had to make sure he had everything ready for the next day the night before. Now he lives in single quarters and looks after himself. He’s having a crash course in the real world, and doing really well.” Adds Graham, “With a lot of young trainees you have to be like a parent to them but also be the teacher who enforces the rules. It’s not an easy role.” Jed turns out to be a confident young man, with a passion for farm life. “I like being outdoors and living where I work,”

Herd manager Mark Shefford is also progressing well with training, and is about to finish his level 4 qualification in production management. He’s a great organiser, an expert at keeping down costs and, although he won’t admit it, has transformed his people management skills since arriving on the farm three years ago. Written work is a particular challenge for 25-year-old Mark. “The writing and theory side of things is difficult. When we talk about things in class I understand them, it’s just the putting pen to paper. But I’ll get there – I just take a lot longer than everybody else.” Unlike Jed, Mark has a strong farming background, having grown up on a Geraldine poultry, sheep and cattle farm and studied agriculture at school. The dairy sector attracted him the most, and now, five farms on, he calls Dunsandel home. He reckons it’s a friendly and supportive place to work and his bosses are “up there with the good boys”. “I like the freedom I have here to make decisions and the responsibility that goes with it. I was always going to be a farmer. Right from the age of 14, I’d come home and drop my bag at the back door and climb on a tractor and away I’d go.

“I like the freedom I have here to make decisions and the responsibility that goes with it. I was always going to be a farmer.” – Mark Shefford, Herd Manager and Trainee he says, taking a five-minute break between tasks. “It’s a lot easier than having to travel. It’s really good having my own place – especially my own bathroom! “On-farm training is the best. I like the practical side of things – theory is harder. I’m getting good at figuring things out – problem-solving.” Kathleen is impressed by Jed’s keenness to learn. Everyone agrees he has the ability to succeed with the help and support available to him. “We keep him motivated and focused by taking things task by task,” says Graham. “We start with basic things that he can achieve, and give him lots of praise when he does something well.” Jed appreciates the help and support of both Kathleen and his employers, and is keen to stick with dairy farming. “There’s a good variety of jobs in dairy, and always something different happening,” he says. “I’d like to stay on this farm and see how it goes. I like this area, because it’s close to my family and friends. “I’m taking things step by step. I’ll probably work towards a level 4 herd management qualification. I think I’ll get there. Maybe one day I’ll be a farmer and own my own herd.” 24

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

There’s a real joy to being out on the land.” Mark’s goal is financial security, so that when the opportunity to own his own herd comes along, he can grab it. “You’ve got to put your money where it’s going to grow, don’t you? I’d like to be 50/50 sharemilking but it’s hard with the way the dairy industry is at the moment, so we’re considering investment property.” He feels a real sense of accomplishment being a farmer. “I get the satisfaction of doing a good job and being able to look back and reflect on it. I’m more confident as a person now. Training gives you that reassurance that what you’re doing on the farm is the right thing.” The skills and ideas that trainees like Jed and Mark bring to the table have made a big contribution to the Wells’ business, and the productivity gains that go with having four others on the farm are fantastic, says Adele. “The farm feels very industrious. When Graham and I were farming by ourselves it would have taken us a week to do what we can now achieve in just one day. It frees us up to deal with the business side of things.”


Sheep and Cattle Profile

Family Affair Three generations of Hansens bring a unique combination of experience and enthusiasm to the business of farming. With the help of the Agriculture ITO, the Hansen family is grooming the next generation to make a go of sheep farming in the southern Hawke’s Bay.

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


The Hansen family farm is perched on a limestone ridge in Maraekakaho, about half an hour’s drive south of Hastings. Standing on the front lawn of the farmhouse, we take in a panoramic view out over the plains of Napier and Hastings with Te Mata Peak rising steeply on the right. It’s an ideal location for sheep farming, says Chris Hansen, the second of three generations of Hansens to devote their lives to farming. It’s relatively dry in southern Hawke’s Bay but the limestone character of the hills means the Hansen farm has vital natural irrigation. “It’s a nice spot all right. Even when it’s really dry and the grass is burnt, you can see green spots on the sides of the hills where the water is. It recovers quickly from drought conditions,” says Chris. The 650-hectare Hansen farm is a family farm in all senses of the word. Chris’s father, Ossie, has been in farming since he got a rehab farm in 1949. Now at 85 years of age he’s still fully involved in the farm, buying and selling lambs, handling stock and checking out market prices on his laptop which he’s doing when we arrive. He was shearing sheep until three years ago. He’s the family patriarch but one who welcomes new ideas and new ways of doing things. He has lost none of the zest which he had when he first went farming. “The greatest thing is to be a good stockman – know sheep, know animals, know how they work,” says Ossie. “Experience is vital. I love farming, I always have. You need experience and enthusiasm mixed together.” In 1976 the family moved from Onga further south onto the current site. These days Chris takes a leading role but it’s clearly very much a family affair. Wife Helen is fully involved in farm life and the skills and experience that Ossie once passed onto Chris are now being absorbed by the next generation of Hansens – 21 year-old Daniel and 18 year-old Sarah. “It’s a family operation, that’s the key to its success,” says Chris. “There’s jobs for everyone. The kids get plenty of responsibility. Yesterday Daniel and Sarah went off in the late afternoon to pick up 760 sheep from Hunterville and got home about 1.30 in the morning. Helen and I weren’t worried about them. They were up again at six and have been shearing all morning.” As we chat on, it becomes clear that the limestone hills are not the only wellspring on the Hansen farm. Developing smart farm skills is the other rich and enduring source of growth for the Hansen enterprise. Plenty of farm skills and know-how are passed on within the Hansen family but it’s the partnership with Agriculture ITO through its nationally recognised training programmes that makes it a winning combination, says Chris. “The Agriculture ITO training progranmes and qualifications are really broadening Daniel’s horizons. I wish they had been around when Dad and I were growing up. “He learns lots of things other than what we are teaching him. The Agriculture ITO has given us the knowledge and the confidence that what we are doing is on track. We are putting a lot of modern thinking into practice. Daniel comes home with new ideas and we are into it, if we are not doing it already.” Ossie agrees. “I’ve seen what Daniel is learning and it’s great. I advise any young fellah who’s on a farm to join the scheme. They come home with different ideas. It’s been absolutely wonderful.” 26

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

Father and son, Chris and Daniel run a family operation – “the key to its success”.


Chris and Ossie are both convinced of the importance of taking on new ideas and new ways of doing things. “Farming is a different ballgame now, different altogether, “ says Chris. “You’ve got to follow the market and keep refining your operation. You’ve got to be on the ball. You just can’t go along doing what you were doing 20 years ago. There are new breeds, new grasses, new technologies – things change so much.

Sheep and Cattle Profile

“You have to be willing to take advice, take on new ideas. That fella over there (pointing at Ossie), he’s always doing something different. He’ll phone you in the middle of the night. ‘What do you reckon? Should we try this?’ That’s what he’s been like as far back as I can remember. He’s 85 and he’s not frightened to step out and do something different.” These days the Hansen farm is essentially a lamb fattening operation but it wasn’t always that way. Says Chris: “We used to have several blocks of land and we ran about 15,000 Drysdale ewes. The mainstay of our business was producing carpet wool for Feltex. Our wool was less coarse than others and had a lustre to it so it blended well with other wools. We could sell as much wool as we could produce, which was around 1,000 bales a year. But then the carpet industry changed and the attitudes of people towards carpet changed. Wool fell over. People were happy to buy cheaper carpets, rather than long-wearing ones. They didn’t expect their carpets to be there in 20 years’ time.

Michael Bolton (with sheep) ponders his next move with mentor Wayne Mason, as cameraman Stephen Moody captures the action.

“So that’s how life changes and business changes. You have to adapt. We responded by going back to the breeding but that was getting too slow for us. “So in our situation, with a good site and being handy to the markets and the saleyards, we’re a good fattening unit. We buy and sell lambs flat out and we do everything ourselves. We buy the lambs, some we trade fairly smartly, others we fatten over a longer period, we shear all the sheep ourselves, we have our own truck and trailer to pick them up and take them to the works. We don’t use contractors. We’re not held over a barrel by anyone.”

“The Agriculture ITO training programmes and qualifications are really broadening Daniel’s horizons. I wish they had been around when Dad and I were growing up.” – Chris Hansen, farmer


Just The Job television series


Te Kuiti (Sheep and Cattle); Canterbury (Dairy); Christchurch (Water)


School-leavers, 14-18 year olds

Just The Job is a television series that puts year 12 and 13 students in workplaces for a couple of days, learning the ropes and finding out what’s involved for young people starting out. The half-hour show comprises three segments of about eight minutes duration each. Over 20 ITOs were involved in sponsoring segments for the first series, and Agriculture ITO took three. Orewa High School student Michael Bolton spent two days on farms operated by the Tiroa E and Te Hape B Trust, east of Te Kuiti. Livia Fourian of Selwyn College, Auckland, experienced some early starts at the Rakaia Island Dairy farm of Doug and Dave Turner.

Behind this independence lies a big appetite for hard work and an indomitable spirit. The Hansen philosophy includes many things but foremost among them is a love of farming and a can-do attitude. “You don’t want to be frightened of hard work in this business,” says Chris. “It’s a difficult time for sheep farming at the moment so you have to control your costs. Daniel and I are capable of shearing 700-800 sheep a day and we’ve designed our own shearing machine which allows us to do the shearing without bending over.


Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


“In the course of a year we have around 40,000 sheep coming onto the farm and every week we take about two loads of 500 sheep to the works. That’s about 1,100 sheep coming on and off the farm every week. That’s a lot of sheep to handle and most of them need to be shorn. We do one day’s shearing a week.” In line with this thinking, the Hansens have purchased their own trucks and trailer for transporting stock. Daniel is the chief driver and thinks nothing of driving through the night to make deadlines. He does all the maintenance on the machinery that is not covered by warranty. “I love driving and I’ve got a passion for machinery. I think they injected me with diesel when I was young.” Sister Sarah (pictured below left) is also an enthusiast for the country life and more than willing to roll her sleeves up and get stuck into some drenching or mustering. She’s just finished college and has a flair for fashion design that the family are keen to see her develop. The can-do attitude extends to most things on the Hansen horizon. “There’s no reason in the whole wide world why Sarah can’t convert our double garage into a sewing shed and have staff there,” says Chris. “She’s already had orders from Korea for some articles of clothing she’s designed. There’s no reason why she can’t run a business like that.”

Daniel is one of around 10,000 trainees who participate in the Agriculture ITO’s training system every year. Daniel was the first graduating Modern Apprentice for Hawke’s Bay. Being a Modern Apprentice is a three-year commitment and provides additional mentoring from the training adviser. During this time, Daniel achieved National Certificates in Agriculture ( Levels 2, 3 and 4) and is now half way through a Diploma in Agribusiness Management. “Farming is in the blood I suppose. I was brought up on the farm and it was kind of inevitable that I went into farming. I love the life and the variety that goes with it. One day I’m shearing, the next day I’m out in the open fencing or I’m taking a truckload of stock down to Wellington.” Daniel is enthusiastic about the variety that has been a feature of his training. “I love this way of learning – hands-on for the majority of time, supported by what I learn in the classroom. When I come into the office and pick up a budget I can understand it. “People have said I should go and learn someone else’s ways but Dad and Grandad have taught me so much. Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Hamish Blackmore is Daniel’s training adviser and the Agriculture ITO’s Training Adviser for the Hawke’s Bay region. He looks after about 160 trainees and travels up to 1500 kilometres a week. It’s a job he relishes because “it’s a great way of staying involved with the farming community.” Hamish comes from a farming background himself and that gives him real credibility, says Chris. “His advice comes from someone who knows farming.” Hamish was brought up on a family stud farm at the beach settlement of Waimarama and went shepherding when he left school. He subsequently became a manager at a farm near Taupo and then moved on to have his own farm in Hawke’s Bay. Health concerns meant he had to sell up the farm but helping young people become smart farmers has been a pretty ideal substitute for Hamish. “I love this job. It’s a real privilege to work with farming people.” Hamish is welcomed onto the Hansen farm as a friend as well as an adviser.

There seems little doubt, however, that one way or another Sarah will also be part of the next generation of farming Hansens. For them all, farm life is more than a job, it’s a rewarding way of life. Running a successful business is critical but it is not everything. The family enjoys a longstanding passion for show jumping and has had some international performers, most notably Mister Kincaid. Hunting is also a favourite pursuit. Life on the land is hard work but it is also a lot of fun. “The kids have choices. They could do anything,” says Chris. “But they choose to stay. They love the life.”

“It’s great to work with a family because they all work together. They communicate so well and they have a great working base. It makes delivering the training much easier if people are keen to learn. “Daniel has been an exceptional student – he’s not afraid to take on new ideas. I always look forward to my visits to the property.” A few hours later as we drive away from the Hansen farm, a few impressions stand out. First of all how hard this family works. And how much they value new ideas and doing things well. And, of course, there is their love of farming itself. Asked what he would say to a young person thinking of getting into farming, Chris didn’t hesitate. “You’ve got to want to do it. No good being a clock-watcher. You have to enjoy it.”


Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

Sheep and Cattle Profile

Above: It’s a real privilege for Hamish (left) to work with farming people like Daniel.

“I love this way of learning – hands-on for the majority of time, supported by what I learn in the classroom. When I come into the office and pick up a budget I can understand it.” – Daniel Hansen, farming trainee

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Employee numbers have exploded in the poultry industry. A strong focus on industry training enables people such as Hashem Talafha to go from strength to strength.


Jordan to Cambridge The poultry industry has grown hugely over the past 20 years. From 14kg a person in 1986, consumption is now at 36kg per person per year – making up over a third of all meat consumed in New Zealand (PIANZ website). Employee numbers have increased 12% from 2001 to 2006, and over 3,500 people are working in the industry, almost all of whom have undertaken national certificate training. Debbie Fisher, breeder services manager for Inghams Enterprises New Zealand in Waitoa, near Matamata, is the liaison with Agriculture ITO Key Accounts Training Adviser Sharon Orr. “Sharon and I work closely on getting staff through the qualifications,” says Debbie, “Reminding them – threatening them! When they start wavering, if they get a couple of ‘redos’ – that’s when you sit down with them. “Sometimes they don’t always understand where they’ve gone wrong.” Agriculture ITO offers national certificates for poultry industry workers at levels two, three and four. With these learning programmes generally taking 18-24 months to complete, motivation is an important part of Debbie and Sharon’s work.

Top right: Hashem Talafha, at home in Ingham’s Matamata rearing farm. Right: Ingham’s breeder services manager, Debbie FIsher (left) and Agriculture ITO Key Accounts Training Adviser Sharon Orr catch up on progress at a local cafe.

“It’s one of the things I most enjoy about my job,” says Sharon, “having the chance to mentor and help people to the final line.” The industry as a whole is very focused on training. Ingham’s managers are undertaking the new level four programme, while across the whole industry, nearly all staff are involved in or have completed at least level two training. “It’s very important for bio-security and animal welfare purposes that people in the industry have at least that level of knowledge,” says Sharon. Of course the qualifications work for people on an individual level as well. “It gives staff something to work to that they know is nationally recognised,” Debbie says. “A number of staff have left school early. The thought of studying for a national certificate really scares them. A big part of my job is just helping them see it’s stuff they already know – it’s just getting it on paper. And it’s something they can take with them.” For one employee at Inghams, Agriculture ITO’s certificates held little to fear. Like many people in New Zealand these days, Hashem Talafha

“Training is something that’s very important to us. The industry is growing and changing quickly. It’s important that all our staff keep up with what’s happening.” – Debbie Fisher, Breeder Services Manager


Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

largest breeder, broiler, hatchery and poultry feed supplier in the Middle East. But with a wife and new son, Hashem began to cast about for a quieter environment to raise his own family. Soon, via the Internet, he found Inghams Enterprises. His degrees and experience meant he was well qualified for the role of rearing farm manager, overseeing the growth of chickens from one day to 20 weeks. However, as Debbie explains, Hashem was asked to undertake industry qualifications just as other staff and managers do. “Training is something that’s very important to us. The industry is growing and changing quickly. It’s important that all our staff keep up with what’s happening.” Hashem completed the level three course in eight months, and promptly enrolled in the level four course. He says the learning helps him get up to speed on local practices and techniques. “Because I’d come from overseas, it gave me knowledge about New Zealand. Particularly in areas of animal care and health and safety. Poultry Profile

He puts that learning to use in team meetings that set and evaluate goals, and encourages his staff to learn more about the business they are in.

applied for his present position over the Internet. Not so typically, however, he was living in Jordan when he did it. Growing up on the family farm in northern Jordan, Hashem had always enjoyed tending the livestock. When he finished high school in 1993, he entered the University of Jordan in Amman, whose agriculture faculty has its own teaching farm and poultry unit. Hashem completed a Bachelor of Science in Animal Production in 1997, and went to work for “Grandparent’s Farm” (the translated name of the company, not the relationship) – poultry growers and meat suppliers for Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates. “Poultry is consumed in greater quantities in the Middle East than sheep or beef,” notes Hashem.

“Most people in New Zealand seem to have come to the industry from experience, rather than choice. So often they know a lot about particular jobs, but they don’t have so much background knowledge. I can help them know why we do things a particular way, how a disease is caused, nutrition and so on. My focus is on a high standard of work and quality.” Debbie says understanding the background to the way things are done is a key outcome of Agriculture ITO training. “It increases their knowledge of the whole process. If they’re used to doing just one job, learning about anatomy, physiology, the background to nutrition gets them asking questions, which is great. They need to understand the whole process.” It was not just his rapid progress that led to Hashem being named Poultry Industry Trainee of the Year last year.

Returning to university to complete his Masters, he then took a position as farm manager for quite a different bird – a venture farming ostriches.

“A workplace assessment is done that takes into account social and practical skills as well as attitude and performance,” says Sharon, who worked for over 13 years as a Fonterra field representative before joining Agriculture ITO. While Hashem’s is not necessarily a normal case, Sharon says she still got a great deal of satisfaction in seeing him recognised.

But it was a little difficult, Hashem says, “as it was a new industry and there was no processing facility.”

“I love interacting with the variety of people and the variety of industries in this job.”

So in 2002 he joined the Al Jazeera poultry company, the

“It’s one of the things I most enjoy about my job,” says Sharon, “having the chance to mentor and help people to the final line.” – Sharon Orr, Key Accounts Training Adviser

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Best in the Bay Over 20 years’ industry

experience and three diplomas have made Nigel Hesford a huge asset to his employers, his peers and the water industry as a whole.

It’s safe to say that water runs in the Hesford family blood. Brother Brian Hesford enticed Nigel into the industry back in 1988 while working at a wastewater treatment plant. Twentyplus years on, Nigel is the Operations Manager for Duffill Watts Consulting Group in bustling Tauranga, where he manages six staff and all the water and wastewater facilities of the Western Bay of Plenty District Council. The area is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and the water industry has had to respond accordingly. “Water seemed like interesting and important work,” recalls Nigel. “The sort of work I wanted to get into. I’m still really enjoying it. There is so much to learn about this industry, which has many different aspects and is driven by its science and technology.” Nigel describes his work as very full-on. “It’s exciting. There’s a different challenge every day – something new you have to tackle.” 32

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

If juggling a full-on job and family life wasn’t enough of a challenge, Nigel also recently became a triple diploma graduate in wastewater treatment, drinking-water treatment and drinking-water assessment. Commitment to learning is essential in an industry and vital for the region’s economic growth and well-being. “I really enjoyed doing the diplomas,” he says. “They made me more focused. I’ve definitely benefited as a person, although it’s been pretty hard on my wife and children. I’m lucky they have been very supportive during my studies. They realise industry qualifications are important for building my career.” Annie Yeates, a training adviser for Water Industry Training for four years, has been impressed by Nigel’s approach to training. “He was keen to make the most of the opportunities put before him,” she says. “Completing a diploma in each of the last three years is a very impressive accomplishment.”


If you want to keep up with the industry, you’ve got to keep learning new skills, Nigel says. “I like learning new things and accepting new challenges. I’ve always wanted to progress and keep up my knowledge of the industry. There are always new developments. You’ve got to keep on top of them otherwise you get left behind.” With such extensive experience and qualifications under his belt, Nigel is greatly valued by his employers and colleagues. “He’s a key asset to us,” says his manager, Lynn Kenny, “both as an employee and as a mentor for others. He’s been completely self-motivated with his training, which is great. “When we look for staff, we look for people who want to advance. It’s a company-wide philosophy. Everyone needs to grow. Luckily, most of the people who come through our door have a healthy desire to upskill, and we certainly encourage them to do so.” Nigel plays an important support role with other water trainees in his region, mentoring his own staff through national certificates as well as encouraging operators from other companies in the area to upskill.

The GRIT board game, developed for the Rural Source curriculum support programme.


“It’s a good feeling, helping others benefit from what I know.” Industry training plays a key role in easing the burden of managers, says Lynn.

On the web,

Where: and on a library of DVDs Who:

“There are always new developments. You’ve got to keep on top of them through training otherwise you get left behind.” – Nigel Hesford, triple diploma graduate

Tracey Shepherd, Agriculture ITO Policy Manager and Rural Source Project Coordinator: “Not only are the resources valuable for teachers but they are primarily designed to help prepare students for a career in the rural sector.

“We are often asked to provide operators at short notice to other councils, and I think it’s because of the experience, training and qualifications that they have.” Nigel agrees: “You’ve got to know that there are people out there who know what they’re doing and can do the job properly.”

“Water industry workers often get very little recognition for the important work that they do,” she says. “It’s great to be able to help them achieve recognition for their knowledge and skills, and celebrate in their success when they graduate. “Nigel’s wealth of knowledge and dedication are a huge asset. He’s a great advocate for the water industry, and his achievements are a beacon for people who want to continue to learn throughout their careers. This is what it takes to get ahead.”

Developed by the Agriculture and Horticulture industry training organisations with the help of secondary school teachers

Water Profile

“Training’s invaluable because it increases the knowledge and skill base of our staff. They are easier to manage because you have the confidence that they are all fully capable.

Annie says that one of the most enjoyable things about her job is working with committed industry people like Nigel.

Rural Source, a new curriculum support programme for New Zealand agriculture and horticulture teachers

“The next stage is to provide resources for other subjects, such as economics, mathematics or science, that have a rural flavour. The aim is to demonstrate the wider impact and influence that agriculture has in society, and this in turn should help open students’ minds to the range of possible careers that agricultural experience can offer”. Gore High School agriculture teacher Chris Matheson is a fan of GRIT. The game involves up to six players, or teams, who select a farm type then move around a board, Monopoly style, answering questions according to which square they land on.

MORE INFO AT Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Agriculture ITO Staff 2007 Front Row (from left)

Second Row

Third Row

Fourth Row

Ruth McLennan Beverley Jackson Emma Collins Andrew Shephard Tracy Calder Katrina Driver Arrowan Easton Katie Abbott Gwen Norman Jewel Matheson Linda Wilkinson Robyn Gibson Rose Anderson Vyv Hodgkins Bev Knight Tracey McKibbon Lizzy Wilding Laura Warwick Karen Keeley David Barton Janette Cliffe Michele Kuriger Nigel Campbell Jenny Rouse Tony Wilding Natalie Young Shona Manual Derek Gibson Deb Smith Jane Mitchell Ryan Edwards Kevin Bryant Michelle Burton Lucy Haberfield Claire Chapman Kevin Scannell Anna Hayes Judi Fleck Kathryn van den Beuken Glenn Robinson Angela Cates Shona Wapp Margaret Rickard Helen Hansen Alex van Paassen Sharon Orr Susan Elms Paul McCauley Jenny Sellars Angela Ryder Carolyn Stewart Lorrayne Mines Pauline Aitken Kathleen Perry Annie Sparrow Jane Diston Angela Kiwha Jessica Doolan Marianne Farrell Michael Ames Deborah Johnston 34

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

Fifth Row Dorothy Opai Hamish Blackmore Fiona Linton Karen Thomson Jock McKeown Loren Eagle Chrissy Williams Heleen Smith Tracey Shephard Kate Alexander Annie Yeates Greg Sutton Justin Blakie Roger Brookes Sarah Reid Aroha Maxwell Jenny Vandenberg Brian Nicholson Noleen Hildred


The 2007 Bound To Succeed Team


Bound To Succeed Scholarships


Anakiwa, Marlborough Sounds


23 Agriculture ITO and Water Industry Training students

Over three weeks in April – May, the lives of more than 20 of Agriculture ITO trainees are changed for good thanks to the Outward Bound experience at Anakiwa, Marlborough. “It was a once in a lifetime thing.” – Waikato dairy worker Alex van Heuven (21). Top Row


Peter MacGregor Sandy Redman Ian Grifitths Stuart Bishell Dennis Radford Richard Lawrence Andrew Donohue Fred Hardy Matthew Cooley John Jennings Roger Irvine Robyn McLaughlin Lyndon Allott Andre Laird George Schuler

Julia Dowman Robyn Patterson Graeme Sawyer Maryanne Hearn Kathryn Henderson

Now in its fifth year, all costs of the Bound To Succeed programme are covered by dairy hygiene and animal health supplier FIL New Zealand and Agriculture ITO. Selection of participants is one of the tasks of the Regional Committees and criteria include potential for leadership, and commitment to the industry. “We’re looking for the people who will replace us,” says Waikato Regional Committee chairman Don Seath. “I’d definitely recommend it – to people of any age.” – Richard Freeman (20), Golden Bay.

MORE INFO AT Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Our Staff – Organisational Structure 9) 38

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Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

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Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Our Staff – Regional Field Team

Northland Loren Eagle Jewel Matheson Tania Matheson

Bay of Plenty Ngaio Colville

Waikato/ Hamilton Rose Anderson Janette Cliffe Michele Kuriger Dave McIsaac Tracy McKibbin Sandy Redman Deb Smith


Frances Wilson

Shona Manuel


Central Plateau/Rotorua

Bev Jackson

Emma Bolton

Derek Gibson

Katrina Driver

Emma Collins

Aroha Maxwell Sarah Reed Lizzie Wilding

Manawatu/Feilding Marianne Farrell Ellen Nagel

Hawkes Bay

Janette Pease

Hamish Blackmore

Carolyn Stewart

Susan Elms

Shona Wapp

Mia Jane

Wairarapa Angela Cates


Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

National Field Teams Key Accounts – 0800 242 343

Water Industry – 0800 928 374

North Island

Adrian Osbourne

Andre Laird

Kate Alexander

South Island

Annie Yeates

Gwen Norman

Roger Irvine

Sharon Orr

Top of South Robyn Patterson

Team Leaders

Agriculture ITO Contact Numbers:

South Island

Jenny Vandenberg

Andrew Shepherd

Anna Hayes

Vyv Hodgkin

Robyn Gibson

North Island

Beverley Knight

Fiona Linton

Training Advisers – 0800 691 111 Short Courses Coordinators – 0800 327 633

West Coast Roger Brookes Paule Crawford David Van Beek

Canterbury/Christchurch Terry-Joy Allison Arrowan Easton Maryanne Hearn Jock McKeown Kathleen Perry Jenny Rouse Kevin Scannell Chrissy Williams

Southland Pauline Aitken David Barton


Angela Ryder

Noeleen Hildred

Annie Sparrow

Paul McCauley

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Regional and Industry Committees Regional committees Our 16 Regional Committees cover all New Zealand's geographical regions. Their members are a wide cross-section of employers, employees and iwi involved in agriculture and water with a strong interest in training. The committees are responsible for promoting, developing and encouraging industry training in their region. They meet twice a year to offer us direction.

Industry committees Our five industry committees consist of ITO-elected or appointed members from our industry sectors – pork, poultry, services to agriculture, pastoral and water. They meet at least twice a year and are responsible for: • advising on and helping develop and review unit standards for their sectors • advising on and helping to develop and review specific industry qualifications for their sectors • advising on and helping to develop moderation action plans • developing specific education and training policies relevant to their sectors • carrying out these responsibilities within the Constitution of the Agriculture ITO, and within the directions of the Board • reporting to the Board twice a year.

Josh Broughton (Hick)

Chris Hurlston

Darfield, Canterbury. On committee three years.

Ngakuru, south of Rotorua, Central Plateau. On committee three years.

In partnership on 80ha, lease 360ha in 4 blocks, 1500 ewes, 120ha barley/wheat, 1600 cows winter grazing, 20 beef steers

Sharemilk 600 cows on 195ha milking platform and two run-offs of 120ha.

James Brownlie

Peter Langford

Wairoa, Eastland. On committee 10 years, seven as chair.

Karamea, West Coast . On committee eight years, one as chair.

Sheep and cattle farmer, 5000 SU – neighbouring Te Urewera National Park. On Agriculture ITO Board five years.

Ted Ford

Dairy farmer milking 210 cows on 90 ha.

Karen Shaw Pongakawa, Te Puke. Newly elected.

Top of the South. On committee eight years, three as chair. Dairy farmer in partnership with wife Clare, 170 pedigree Jersey cows on 51ha at Appleby, Nelson.

Margaret Lane Orton, Rangitata, South Canterbury. On committee two years. Dairy farmer, 1100 cows on 400ha. Farmer trainer for 15 years.


Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

50/50 sharemilker, 650 cows on 173 ha, equity partner 400 cows on 110ha at Ngatea, and 350 cows on 105ha, Waikite Valley.

Mike Visser Ngahape, Waikato. On committee four years, two as chair. Sharemilk 1070 cows on 290 hectares. Also equity partners in 140ha dairy farm.

Agriculture ITO Board

Board Committees

Regional Committees

Industry Committees





Remuneration and Appointments


Top of the South


Charters and Profiles

Bay of Plenty

West Coast



Central Plateau

North Canterbury



Mid Canterbury


Manawatu/ Wanganui

South Canterbury




Hawke’s Bay

Linda McGinty

Colin Clemens

Kiwitea, Manawatu. On committee two years.

Ashburton, Mid-Canterbury. On committee 10 years, three as chair.

Equity manager on a 950 cow, 240ha dairy farm.

Former arable crop farmer growing export process crops, bred/ fattened pigs, lambs, finished beef, rural contractor, officer in charge, AgResearch, Winchmore.

Nicki den Baars Clydevale, South Otago. Newly elected. Sharemilking 1030 cows on 378ha effective, lease 425ha for dry stock grazing and beef operation, 33% share in 148ha dairy farm.

Michael Pallesen Tikokino, Hawke’s Bay. Committee chair for four years. 50/50 sharemilker, 1350 cows on 450ha and a 200ha runoff, with six fulltime staff.

Matthew Richards Edendale, Southland. On committee five years.

Dairy farmer with wife Vanessa and four children, sharemilk1200 cows, 50% share in 750 cow farm, which we also sharemilk.

Edwin Smith Hikurangi, Northland. Committee chair for eight years. Dairy farmer milking 450 cows. Involved with rural education since about 1990.

Beth Power-Kelly Wairarapa. On committee five years, two as chair.

Worked in tertiary education in horticulture and agriculture sectors for 20 years. Lives on 20 acres just out of Carterton.

Jason Scown Urenui, Taranaki. On committee six years, two as chair. Variable order sharemilker, 250 cows on 80ha.

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Pictured from left to right are: Don Seath, Murray Linton, Chris Kelly, Cliff Tipler (Deputy Chairman), Kevin Bryant, Wayne McLaughlan, Tony Wilding (Chairman), Tanira Kingi and James Brownlie. Absent: Ron Frew.

Agriculture ITO Directors Tony Wilding (Chairman)

Tanira Kingi

Wayne McLaughlan

Elected August 2002. Member, Institute of Directors; trustee, Pohlen Hospital Board; chairman, Piarere Agriculture Education Trust; chairman, Advisory Group to the Waikato Milking Robotics Project; director, Dairy Industry Superannuation.

Joined Board in 1998. Senior Lecturer, Agricultural Management, Massey University. Affiliated to Te Arawa and Ngati Awa.

Joined Board in 2006, representing employees working in the industries the ITO covers. Full time union organiser with 27 years’ experience.

Cliff Tipler (Deputy Chairman) Joined Board in 1999, representing water industry. Past president, New Zealand Water and Wastes Association; senior principal, URS New Zealand; water and wastewater consulting engineer; director, Agriculture Services Ltd.

Don Seath Joined Board in 2000. Former director, New Zealand Dairy Group, Dairy Meats NZ Ltd. Chairman, Pastoral Industry Committee.

Chris Kelly Joined Board in 2005. Chief Executive, Landcorp Farming Ltd. Former veterinary surgeon, lecturer and farm adviser; former chairman AgVax Developments Ltd.

James Brownlie Joined Board in 2003. Chairman of the Eastland Agriculture ITO Regional Committee, former district councillor, member, Institute of Directors.


Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

Murray Linton Joined Board in 2007. Fonterra Shareholder Council member, former Bay of Plenty Agriculture ITO Regional Committee chairman. Farms 500 dairy cows with wife Fiona.

Ron Frew Joined Board in 2007. Director of Meat and Wool New Zealand. Farms 2,800 hectares, running 29,000 SU; crops potatoes and carrots; operates a hay contracting and supply business; dairy grazing.

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Income Statement For the year ended 31 December 2007

Agriculture ITO Group

Agriculture ITO





$ 000

$ 000

$ 000

$ 000

























People Costs





Operating Costs





Training Costs





Growsafe Costs






















Income Government Grants Industry Grants Interest Trainee Fees and Other Income Dividend From Associate Total Income


TOTAL EXPENSES Share of Profit from Associate


The above financial statements should be read in conjunction with accompanying notes and policies.

Statement of Movements in Equity As at 31 December 2007

Agriculture ITO Group





$ 000

$ 000

$ 000

$ 000

Net Assets Brought Forward













Add: Net Surplus Net Assets Carried Forward

The above financial statements should be read in conjunction with accompanying notes and policies.


Agriculture ITO

Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007

Balance Sheet As at 31 December 2007

Agriculture ITO Group

Agriculture ITO





$ 000

$ 000

$ 000

$ 000









































Investment in Associate





Fixed Assets





Total Assets





Accounts Payable





Employee Entitlements













Total Current Liabilities





Total Liabilities





Net Assets





Accumulated Funds Retained Earnings Brought Forward Add: Net Surplus Total Surplus Represented By:

Assets Bank Accounts and Petty Cash Bonds Accounts Receivable Other Debtors and Prepayments GST Refund Due Total Current Assets Intangible Assets

Less: Liabilities

Other Creditors and Accruals GST Payable

The above financial statements should be read in conjunction with accompanying notes and policies.

The Directors have authorised these financial statements for issue. For, and on behalf of, the National Board:



Date: 23/04/2008

Date: 23/04/2008 Agriculture ITO Annual Report 2007


Wellington Office Agriculture ITO Level 2, ITO House 180 – 188 Taranaki Street Wellington 6011 PO Box 10383 The Terrace Wellington 6143 Tel: 04 801 9616 Fax: 04 801 9626 Northern Regional Office Agriculture ITO 62 Wake Street Chartwell Hamilton 3210 PO Box 12183 Chartwell Hamilton 3248 Tel: 07 853 0370 Fax: 07 853 0600 Southern Regional Office Agriculture ITO 585 Wairakei Road, Unit 2 Harewood Christchurch 8053 PO Box 39189 Harewood Christchurch 8545 Tel: 03 357 1308 Fax: 03 357 1309

Ag ITO Annual Report  

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