fbpx

NextGen Dairy Farmers Programme

Your future is secure through this innovative programme for Year 12 and 13 students.

If you love problem-solving, technology, science and animals, and have leadership qualities then dairy farming could be for you. You’ll be fast-tracked through the dairy industry, and earn as you learn. You’ll receive unmatched support from industry organisations and high-performing farmers. Your future is secured.

Photo credit NZ Young Farmers

15 Future farmers wanted

The dairy industry is looking for 15 individuals to become the high-performing farmers of tomorrow. To be one of the 15 and secure an on-farm farm assistant job in 2025, we recommend that your first step is to attend a Taster Day at a local Canterbury farm.

What’s it really like working on a dairy farm?

The dairy industry is more complex than you think, which is why the NextGen Dairy Farmers Programme is for individuals who know they have something to offer the world and who may (or may not) know exactly what that is, but are ready to succeed and commit to a pathway. If this is you, then dairy farming could be your future.

15 Future farmers wanted

The dairy industry is looking for 15 individuals to become the high-performing farmers of tomorrow. To be one of the 15 and secure an on-farm farm assistant job in 2025, we recommend that your first step is to attend a Taster Day at a local Canterbury farm.

What’s it really like working on a dairy farm?

The dairy industry is more complex than you think, which is why the NextGen Dairy Farmers Programme is for individuals who know they have something to offer the world and who may (or may not) know exactly what that is, but are ready to succeed and commit to a pathway. If this is you, then dairy farming could be your future.

Mihaka Beckham loves working on a dairy farm

In the NextGen Dairy Farmers Programme

  • Learn and earn on the job working for an employer who upholds the very best dairy industry standards from people to environmental stewardship and animal care
  • Feel good about your contribution – you will be feeding the world and New Zealand, and contributing to one of New Zealand’s largest industries. You are important
  • Connect with other young people and find your people in farming social networks with other farmers and rural professionals
  • Know that your future is secure – you’re being provided a start that no other New Zealand school leavers who become dairy farmers have ever been offered
  • Work with animals, machines and technology in a physical outdoor job that is like no other

Your first full-time job in 2025

  • Be supported in a positive environment by people who understand what it’s like to get started in the dairy industry
  • Grow as a person and receive all the training you need; because you have been selected, your unique qualities have been recognised and will be nurtured
  • Have your eyes opened to the many career paths within the New Zealand dairy industry

I love getting outside daily, working hands-on with the animals, and being challenged practically. I’m pushed to use my brain and use problem solving to improve my farming. There is much more to dairy farming than you’d think. I enjoy working in a supportive team that really cares about me and there is a lot of support in the industry to learn more. In two years, I have progressed from dairy farm assistant to a manager position. I enjoy flexibility in my time so that I can be with family and enjoy interests off the farm too.”

Abby Cook

- Canterbury dairy farm manager

5 steps to NextGen Dairy Farmers

Step 1 – Taster Day* (1st August 2024) – limited spots

At a 4-hour taster day, you’ll get an introduction to a career in the dairy industry and find out more about the NextGen programme. You’ll have the opportunity to get hands-on. If you love problem-solving, technology, science and animals, and have leadership qualities then dairy farming could be for you.

Register for a Taster Day

  • 1st August, 10am to 2pm – on a working farm in Canterbury

Register by Sunday, 12th June 2024

* You do not have to attend a taster day to be part of the the NextGen Dairy Farmers Programme but it’s highly recommended.

Step 2 – Be one of the 15 future farmers (mid-2024)

Apply to join the programme. Following a taster day, if you think this opportunity is for you, you will begin the application and interview process to be in our NextGen Dairy Farmers Programme. You’ll also find out about options for pre-employment training and work placement in Canterbury. Ideally, you’ll be no further than 1 hour from your family.

Step 3 – Sit your exams (late-2024)

High-performing dairy farmers understand the importance of education and continuous learning. You will be expected to sit your 2024 exams before going on to earn-as-you-learn in your new job in 2025.

Step 4 – Pre-employment training (December 2024)

After officially joining the programme, you’ll be invited to join a three-week pre-employment training programme together with all the other 15 future farmers. Training will include stockmanship, livestock handling, vehicle and machinery training, milking, health and safety, and what it means to be part of a team on a New Zealand dairy farm.

Step 5 – Start your new farm assistant job (2025)

It’s all up from here. You’ll start your new farm assistant job with a farm business that demonstrates industry best practices and standards in Canterbury. You’ll be supported closely for the first six months by a Learner Advisor. Dairy farming has so much to offer for the right people.

Find out more

This project is a Dairy Training and DairyNZ joint initiative.

Students, education professionals, parents and caregivers are encouraged to contact Laura Littlejohn, Dairy Training’s training coordinator with any questions, no matter how big or small, laura.littlejohn@dairynz.co.nz, or 0800 467 768

Register for a Taster Day now

Give dairy farming a taster and see if it’s for you.

Photo credits NZ Young Farmers, and DairyNZ

Register for a Taster Day now

Give dairy farming a taster and see if it’s for you.