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Agribusiness Field Trip

By Jill Armstrong | Posted: Tuesday February 27, 2018

What an amazing day we had!!!!

Sam Lind gave us an overview of Oritain.com and why it has become so important for businesses to be protected from fraud. Sam was born in Palmerston and has a PhD in Chemistry. We were invited into the boardroom where he gave a presentation about the Company. It was fascinating to discover that a product (food, fibre or pharmaceutical) can be traced and verified from anywhere along the supply chain. The 3-D chemical fingerprint image was very impressive. Oritain.com tests samples from all around the world and has offices in other countries. Students asked a variety of questions. We were also welcomed into the staffroom where the students threw a few darts and had a game of tabletop football. Sam advised the students to always be ‘self-aware’ of their strengths and weaknesses so they can make good future decisions. We are looking forward to their upcoming move into High Street so we can maintain a close relationship.

Techion Group Limited – We were fortunate to have a series of specialist staff show the students around and were invited in the testing lab to look at actual sample testing. Instead of using the traditional microscope, Techion Group Limited have developed a microeye device that farmers can easily use on their farms to test for parasite eggs in the manure. The eggs float to the top of the saline solution. The farmer then sends an image of this to the lab where the experts take over. Once the sample is analysed the feedback report is sent back to the farmer with the results and a recommendation on whether to drench or not. Some farmers still send manure to the lab – we were given a bag containing 7 brown jelly beans which is used as promotional material to assist the farmers with how much manure to send. We were amazed at the scope of this agribusiness and the number of animals that they test. We were also invited into the board room and presented with information about Parasites in Agriculture. Students asked questions about the various project that Techion are involved in. This is a highly successful agribusiness. (By the way, the jellybeans were delicious!).

Wells Dairy Farm – Anne-Marie and Duncan Wells run a highly successful dairy farm on the Taieri Plains. In 2015 they won the highly prestigious award of Dairy Farm of the Year. Anne-Marie spoke to the students about the business side of the business including staffing, finances, environmental issues, cost of production, health & safety procedures, and future proofing. Duncan was brought up on a dairy farm and has a thorough knowledge of the industry. He told the students about the cows, milking times and procedure, temperature regulation, transportation of milk, etc… He also showed the students around the milking shed. As we were leaving the cows were lining up to be milked – we are definitely going back to see the milking process. It was an insightful and enjoyable visit.

So far, the students have gained an immense amount of knowledge about agribusinesses which they will process and continue to build upon as the year progresses. 

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