Moves to woo Auckland school students onto the farm

A looming shortage of farm workers has prompted moves to encourage school students, especially in Auckland, to take up careers in agriculture.

The organisers of the National Young Farmers Championship have put on a show at Taupo to attract the farmers of the future.

Putting practical skills to the test, students competed in the 'Agri-Kids' grand final, beating more than 500 others for a crack at the title. Their tasks were things like putting up a tent - not traditional farm duties.

But organisers say it's more than a bit of fun and they hope the event, along with other initiatives, will help attract 25,000 tertiary educated primary industry workers into the sector by 2025.

Organisers are also targeting schools, with an emphasis on Auckland, to encourage those from urban backgrounds to give the industry a go.

Future farmers will need skills and knowledge in science, technology, marketing and engineering.

"It is the powerhouse of the economy, yet we do struggle to get the really talented people to actually realise there's lots of opportunities within the sector," Terry Copeland, Young Farmers Chief Executive told ONE News.

But among the crowd at the Agri-Kids event, there were plenty keen on a career in farming.

ONE News asked some boys if they think they'll get jobs in the agriculture industry.

"Yeah, probably later on," one replied.

Another said: "Yeah, definitely."

Organisers of the National Young Farmers Championship have put on a show to attract the farmers of the future. Source: 1 NEWS