Bridget Huddleston, of Methven, is New Zealand Young
Farmers lower South Island field officer and is keen to
promote careers in the agricultural sector through TeenAg.
She also wants to encourage more people to join Young
Farmers clubs. Photo by Yvonne O'Hara.
Bridget Huddleston, of Methven, sees education as a way
to encourage more young people to consider a career in the
primary sector, and uses New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) and
TeenAg clubs as a vehicle to do that.
Ms Huddleston has been the NZYF lower South Island field
officer for three months.
Part of her role is to look after the TeenAg clubs in Otago
and Southland high schools, in addition to liaising with
Young Farmers clubs.
''The first week of every month I am on the road, getting out
visiting clubs in the evening and TeenAg clubs during the
day,'' Ms Huddleston said.
''I like to spend lots of time organising that, killing as
many birds with one stone and visiting as many clubs as
''I think they appreciate a face to talk to rather than doing
it by phone.''
One of her focuses was to increase membership for the Young
Farmers clubs, she said.
''It is a bit of a team effort as everybody is trying to up
the ante membership-wise and provide more activities to give
more people an incentive to join.''
She also arranges leadership weekends for members.
A former primary school teacher, she is originally from near
Lumsden and her family is now based in Hawea.
''I went to Lincoln University for four weeks and found it
was not right for me at that time.''
She is now studying for a graduate diploma in rural studies
through distance learning. Ms Huddleston is keen to encourage
more young people to consider careers in the sector.
There are 45 TeenAg clubs throughout New Zealand and their
role is to promote agriculture and agricultural careers to
high school pupils and tertiary students as well as sending
teams to compete in TeenAg competitions, which are held at
regional and national Young Farmer Contest finals.
She is also involved in the career-focused Get Ahead
programme, which gives young people information about the
different and viable career opportunities in the primary
''There is lots more to agriculture than just farming.
''It is a really important aspect of Young Farmers because,
as New Zealand primary industries grow, we need all the
global marketers, experts, scientists, economists and bank
managers [we can get].''
She intends to establish a Young Farmers club at Telford and
on the Taieri next year.
''When you belong to Young Farmers you get to see some
amazing country and meet some amazing people and you don't
necessarily have to come from a farming background,'' Ms
She enjoys tramping and jet boating when not working.
• Young Farmers also runs AgriKidsNZ, a national club that
promotes agriculture to primary school children and
encourages teams to take part in competitions, which are
usually held at regional and national Young Farmer Contest
• Ag-In-Schools is a new programme that supports primary
schools to develop structured learning through practical
agriculture-based activities such as pet days.