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New Training to Improve On-farm Productivity

09 December 2014

NEW ZEALAND - Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) has teamed up with Open Polytechnic to provide specialist agribusiness training for sheep and beef farmers.

The joint venture it one part of a wider strategic initiative to find ways to increase the long-term, sustainable profitability of the red meat sector.

B+LNZ and Open Polytechnic are now inviting sheep and beef farmers to register their interest in the training.

Timing and locations will be determined by uptake.

Known as “Farm Smarter”, the programme focuses on agribusiness profitability and production management. Farmers who complete the course qualify for a National Certificate in Agriculture (Production Management, Level 5).

Doug Macredie, B+LNZ sector capability project manager, said: “Participants will learn how to use customised tools to save time and add value to their farming businesses.

“Particular emphasis is placed on analysing existing resources and benchmarking from high performing properties to set and monitor future goals.”

Next year’s rollout follows a successful pilot. Purakanui farmer Robert Chapman is one of a number of farmers from throughout New Zealand who took part. Robert farms part-time on the family’s 330ha coastal property, which runs 3,000 sheep and cattle stock units.

“At some stage in the future, I’ll take over the farm from my father and there were some areas that I did not have much background in. The course filled many of my knowledge gaps, particularly around feed budgeting.”

In his late 20s at the time, Robert says most people attending were in a similar position to him – next generation farmers, setting themselves up for the future, or people going back into farming.

The programme is currently fully subsidised. Face-to-face workshops are strongly supported by Open Polytechnic’s “Online Campus”, a modern learning resource that guides participants through online assessments, using forums, notes, and links to information from other sources. A course outline can be downloaded from the B+LNZ website at

TheCattleSite News Desk

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