NSC agriculture students on New Zealand study tour

The group visit a lighthouse
The group visit a lighthouse

Seventeen Level 3 Agriculture students and two members of staff from the Walford Campus of North Shropshire College (NSC) have spent three weeks on a study tour in New Zealand.

The group spent their time at Taratahi Agricultural College, near Masterton in the North Island.

Students undertake a practical with one of the instructors

Students undertake a practical with one of the instructors

The college owns/manages on behalf of partners, over 50,000 sheep, cattle and deer as well as 2,500 dairy cows.

Sian Spear Agriculture Assessor commented: “The study tour was a chance not only to learn a range of farming methods and analyse the difference from the UK farming industry, but to have a once in a life time opportunity to visit a fantastic country.”

While on the study tour the students visited sheep, deer, goat and dairy farms, as well as popular tourist areas of the North Island.

Students got the opportunity to focus on practical skills such as; fencing, chainsaws, butchery and quad biking with the Taratahi College instructors.

The study tour was a chance not only to learn a range of farming methods and analyse the difference from the UK farming industry, but to have a once in a life time opportunity to visit a fantastic country.

Sian Spear

The group visited Lake Taupo, Rotorua, Wellington and Palmerston North.

The trip included watching a New Zealand rugby game and racing at Speedway, those who were brave enough took part in bungee jumping.

Staff and students enjoyed white water rafting and visited Huka Falls, the beach at Castle Point, saw a colony of seals at Cape Pallister and collected Paua shells.

Students had the opportunity to stay at Tautane Station Hawkes Bay, a lease block situated almost an hours’ drive from the nearest small town of Dannevirke which is primarily a beef unit comprising 3,375 ha and carries 30,000 sheep and beef units. The students bedded down in the stations shearer’s quarters, fed on prime cuts of lamb, roast potatoes, kumera and pumpkin.

Two students enjoying the scenery

Two students enjoying the scenery

Roger Morris Agriculture Instructor commented: “Getting the chance to shear sheep in a ten stand woolshed that was originally built over a hundred years ago, for some was the highlight of the tour; it would be a sight to behold with ten shearers as many rousies and just over a thousand sheep under cover to shear.

“For others it was the chance to see some hunterways working, bringing down 300 cows with their three month old calves at foot off the side of a small 100 acre mountain, down to the stock yards where they were weaned, ear tagged and drenched. The students were in their element and the general opinion was that we weren’t there long enough.”

Towards the end of the trip, the group had morning tea and a bbq at ADB Williams Trust, Hawkes Bay. The Manager’s family, staff and stock made the staff and students feel so welcome, that they didn’t want to leave.

Roger went on to say: “What a place to finish the New Zealand tour and what a place to live and work.”

There is still time to apply for Agriculture qualifications at NSC, you can visit our website: www.nsc.ac.uk.

You can also apply by calling the admissions team on 01691 688080, or email admissions@nsc.ac.uk.