Episode 24 – Inspiring young farmers into the industry

In PodcastsJune 7, 20242 Minutes

How do we keep the next generation and beyond engaged in the agriculture sector? In order to keep the agriculture sector growing, we have to get young people interested, from both rural and urban backgrounds. 

Hear from those across different programmes introducing agriculture to a whole new generation, from primary school children participating in Farmer Time for Schools through to skills-based onfarm cadetships, with the positive news that Waipaoa Farm Cadet Training Trust has found a new home and hopes to accept cadets again in 2026.

Guests include:

1. Tim Rhodes, Chairperson, Waipaoa Farm Cadet Training Trust
2. Marie Burke, National Coordinator, Farmer Time for Schools


1. Rebecca Greaves, Editor, Country-Wide
2. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

Farmer Time in Schools aims to connect primary-aged children to the food and fibre industries, to foster a partnership between urban and rural communities. National Coordinator Marie Burke says it’s been really popular, and came about during lockdown, after seeing something similar in the UK. She says it’s been brilliant for New Zealand children to learn about all aspects of the farming sector.

The future of the Waipaoa Training Trust looked uncertain when Waipaoa Station was put on the market. The scheme has been providing structured onfarm training for young people since 2006, with a focus on sheep and beef. Trust Chairperson Tim Rhodes shares an update on an exciting new location and the future of the scheme, and says there’s certainly still a need for the training it provides.

The cadets learn a holistic set of skills, from technical onfarm practices, to breaking in a horse and cooking and cleaning for themselves. Tim shares what the cadets get up to, and where the scheme will go in the future.