Fieldays Online series highlights young people in agri-sector

Fieldays Online This Working Life – Careers in the Agri-sector series offered a snapshot into the journeys of six young people in the industry

Encouraging young people into the agri-sector and celebrating those already in it was part of the recent Fieldays OnlineThis Working Life – Careers in the Agri-sector series.

The series offered a snapshot into the journeys of six young people in the industry and why they are passionate about what they do.

Sam Waugh

One of the dairy farmers featured was Sam Waugh, who has been recently appointed farm manager at the Donald Pearson Farm just south of Auckland.

The farm was set up to help advance education and understanding of agriculture for urban youth. Sam completed a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture at Lincoln University and joined the Lincoln University Young Farmers Club.

After his studies, he worked as a farm consultant before working in Europe and the UK in a range of farming businesses. This helped him better understand and appreciate what sets New Zealand agriculture apart from the rest of the world.

Sam is excited to be a part of the work on the Donald Pearson farm and shared some of his insights about his current role.

"There’s real opportunity in the dairy sector. That was really highlighted through the COVID-19 crisis and the industry is screaming out for people, not just in the dairying but in the support industry as well milk processes, fertiliser companies, and marketing.

"The long-term intention is to showcase a bit more around the process from paddock to plate. Improving people’s connection to food is a big part of that. I’ve seen a lack of understanding of what farming is. Most of these kids that come out to the farm have never stepped foot on a farm or see a cow.

"The rural-urban divide is more about a lack of understanding from both perspectives. The beauty of this farm is that it shows people what farming really looks like and where their food comes from despite what they might have seen in the media. It helps explain how good New Zealand farmers really are at producing high-quality food with a relatively low environmental footprint.

"We want people to move beyond just having an ​​interest in farming but to really engage with the industry in a real, tangible way. This is just the beginning, I’m proud to be a part of the project and to make a difference."

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