Telford — your first choice in agricultural training and education

Telford — your first choice in agricultural training and education

There are numerous factors to consider in finding the right place to study, then choosing the right qualification which will get you to where you want to go in a career. Telford has been skilfully shaping farming futures for more than fifty years, producing well-rounded, capable graduates; here are four reasons why they successfully fill roles in NZ’s agricultural sector.

SIT is a market leader in education, investing in their students by providing cutting-edge technology and industry-standard equipment for their training, resulting in graduates with contemporary skills.
The Tenstar Tractor Simulator is just one example of how Telford students get ahead in their field — training on this only-one-of-its kind instrument for agricultural education in NZ. It enables students to practice skills and scenarios and master techniques, before ever setting foot inside a real tractor. They benefit in safety outcomes, clocking up more ‘seat time’, and gaining experience with a wider array of implements and settings than would otherwise be possible in real-life situations.
It’s not just training on the latest equipment which makes Telford graduates desirable. With a strong tradition in training students with practical skill sets, the emphasis in hands-on learning sees work placements incorporated into a number of its programmes, resulting in graduates capable of entering the workforce safely and professionally.
Allan Roxburgh, Telford’s Work Experience Coordinator, says whilst it’s not unusual for Telford students to graduate with their employment secured, he’s noticed increasingly, Telford students are valued in the workplace because of the strong practical component they are taught from day one.
“Farmers from Canterbury will ring us looking for graduates, saying they prefer to take our students because of the practical element taught here,” he said.
Telford graduate Logan Wallace took his drive and enthusiasm for all things farming to the very top and won the 2018 Young Farmer of the Year Award. In the competition environment of Young Farmers, the skill base Logan learned while at Telford helped him to excel.
“The quality of the teaching of practical skills I learnt at Telford gave me a big advantage,” he said.

Telford programmes are designed with employment in mind - close collaborations within the sector result in producing qualifications clearly focused on graduates achieving employment outcomes.
By creating learning opportunities to meet the requirements of a changing workforce, and being responsive to the needs of the community, Telford courses are current and relevant. During 2020 as the COVID pandemic forced borders to close, halting the flow of seasonal workers, Telford responded quickly to the situation with the development and delivery of the Agricultural Contractors Course to help fill employment needs in the rural sector where shortages were predicted.
Graduate Dean Webber chose to enrol and train in the Contractors course, which provided him with employment during the pandemic, but it’s also added another skill-set to his CV and he can see the benefits may be future doors which open in his career.
“It is now possible for me to seek employment opportunities that require the operation of heavy machinery. The experience gained has been valuable, and allowed me to contribute to the New Zealand agricultural sector” he said.

Phoebe Cant and Paige McNabb looking after the dogs on campus.
Phoebe Cant and Paige McNabb looking after the dogs on campus.
SIT invests in students by providing cutting-edge technology and industry-standard equipment.
SIT invests in students by providing cutting-edge technology and industry-standard equipment.


Telford graduates often comment on the supportive environment they experienced while studying and most also live on-site, forging lifelong friendships with other students through the easy camaraderie of a close-knit campus.
Accessible and approachable tutors are frequently acknowledged as mentors — they will definitely know your name (and your grades) and encourage you to give it your best. The smaller class sizes equate to more connectedness with tutors and classmates, and makes the whole campus feel like a community.
All of this adds to the ‘happiness factor’ in gaining an education — there is a direct link between happy students and achievement in studies, so getting the balance right is important. Sound educational performance is prioritised within a caring and nurturing environment, because quite simply, every student matters at Telford.
It makes a difference when getting to class is just a short distance from your dorm, accommodation is warm and comfortable, the food is hearty and plentiful — all practical needs have been thought of to help create successful outcomes for students.
Graduate Lisa Bonenkamp said one of the most rewarding aspects of Telford were the other students and the tutors.
“You make lifelong friendships and there are people who I keep in regular contact with. It was such an incredible, supportive place to learn in and I would recommend it to anyone looking at making a career in agriculture”, she said.

SIT has been doing things differently for almost two decades, so it seems fitting in the Zero Fees Scheme twentieth year, to give recognition to the dynamic thinking which continues to be the hallmark of NZ’s southernmost tertiary institute as it looks to the future.
Savvy students who enrol at Telford can save thousands of dollars, achieving their qualification and setting themselves up for success after graduation, not inhibited by student debt.
The government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) is also providing free training opportunities, guaranteed until December 2022 — there’s still time to enrol and train in some of Telford’s most popular courses. Study any of these selected programmes with no course costs:
* Massey Diploma in Agriculture (Level 5)
* Certificate in Farming Systems and Equipment (Level 3) (Dairy, Sheep and Beef)
* Foundation Certificate in Agriculture

New Zealand Certificate in:
* Apiculture (Level 3)
* Horticulture (Level 3) (General)
* Organic Primary Production (Level 3)
* Organic Primary Production (Level 4) (Crop Production or Livestock Production)
* Sustainable Primary Production (Level 4)
* Apiculture (Level 3) — Online Distance Learning

Check out the link for more information:
Make the call today and discover why Telford has what it takes for your training needs. Phone 0800 835 367, or visit
The SIT Zero Fees Scheme (ZFS) is subject to NZ government policies.