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A plaque marking the merger of Lincoln University and Telford Rural Polytechnic was unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Clutha-Southland, Bill English, yesterday morning.
The merger was announced in November 2010 and took effect this January 1.
Mr English said economic recovery made it important to have the young skilled and ready to contribute to growth and to capitalise on the career opportunities it would provide.
"The merger is good news for our farming community. Part of the role of agriculture-based education providers is to make sure they teach young people the skills the industry needs."
Telford had had its share of stress points in the past and had proved resilient, Mr English said.
Lincoln University's chancellor Tom Lambie said the vertical integration it provided offered "profound" benefits for education in the agricultural and land-based sector, from sub-degree and undergraduate teaching and postgraduate research, to commercialisation and extension activities with industry.
The former chairman of the Telford Rural Polytechnic Council, David Yardley, said he and former council members were confident a merged institution was the correct vision for the advancement of agricultural training in New Zealand.
"Telford has come a lot further in 10 years than it has in 30 years. The Telford Division of Lincoln University will play a tremendous and valuable role in this for many years to come."
More than ever, this nation and the world needed farmers, he said.
Mr Lambie also announced that Charles Lamb had accepted the position of director of the Telford Division.
Prof Lamb is an associate professor and head of department of Lincoln's business management, law, and marketing department.
Bruce Chapman, also an associate professor of the university, would step in as interim director for six to eight weeks.
On January 1, Telford Rural Polytechnic, founded in 1964 as a farm training institute, became Telford, a Division of Lincoln University, New Zealand's third oldest university, founded in 1878 as a school of agriculture.