Agribusiness Update

By Jill Armstrong | Posted: Tuesday September 11, 2018

Flowing on from the successful introduction of Agribusiness at NCEA Level Two, we are introducing a new and exciting Agribusiness course at NCEA Level Three.

This new course aims to prepare students for career pathways and opportunities within the Agribusiness sector including agri-innovation, agri-science, agri-management and finance, and agri-marketing concepts. It is an Approved subject for University Entrance and is within the Business Studies Domain.

Currently, Agribusiness students are investigating how human activity in a biophysical environment has consequences for a sustainable future. They are using the latest research to support their investigations. Shortly, they will be conducting market research about fresh water crayfish. We will be calling on experts within the industry to assist with this. We are fortunate to have a range of local Agribusinesses supporting us so the context for learning is based on the real world.

At the recent Growing NZ Innovative Challenge Day Year 10 Economics students worked in small teams, alongside other schools, to work on challenges within the primary industries. They were asked to develop and evaluate potential solutions; build a prototype solution; consider stakeholders; and persuasively present a solution. One team with Kavanagh students won the challenge to create value from an existing product that used the properties of crossbred wool. They designed a prototype biodegradable felted wool bag which would maintain the temperature of the items within. This bag would be suitable for fast food outlets, supermarkets etc… The judge thought this product was outstanding and indeed viable. Another Kavanagh team won the challenge to develop a more accurate method for farmers to measure and record an animal’s body conditioning score (BCS). Their idea was to use a laser scanner to record the animal’s vital measurements. This information would be available to the farmer via smart devices.

Student comment about the day: The challenge was about young people incorporating technologies of the future like Virtual Reality, Global Positioning System (G.P.S.), Nanotechnology and Smart Technology. We had to solve a hypothetical problem already happening in New Zealand, these problems ranged from pests being imported to finding ways to keep paddocks and pastures healthy after heavy rainfalls. All students who attended the event got involved in one way or another, either brainstorming or building their team’s prototype. Whatever went on during the day the mentality was always high and people were involved and enthusiastic about what they did. A special shout out to one of the organisers Greg, for keeping people engaged and alert during the day. The day was overall very enjoyable. Another bonus was that the organisers were able to cater for all people with dietary requirements and kept people happy. (Joshua Chen).

Finally, it is an exciting and challenging time in the New Zealand Agribusiness sector and our students will be well-placed for the future career opportunities of which are varied and plentiful. One in six jobs is within this industry. 

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