Organisers said 51 students graduated from Telford farm institute just outside Balclutha, taking part in a parade along the town’s Clyde St before a ceremony at its new Te Pou ō Mata-Au Clutha District Memorial and Community Centre.
"Gaining a qualification shows they’re able and willing to learn new things in what is a continually changing and increasingly technical agricultural environment.
"This year’s students can head out into the workplace with heads held high, knowing they’ve worked hard and are well prepared for whatever challenges they might face."
Mr Winslade said it had been a "positive" year for Telford, which was rescued from closure at the 11th hour by the Southern Institute of Technology in 2019.
"We’ve had 51 students graduate this year, in a range of level 3 and level 5 diplomas, and we have 75 enrolled already for 2024.
"It’s a reflection of the great work done by staff, and the continuing generous support of our work experience hosts."
Graduate Courtney Suckling, of Reefton, said she had enjoyed "the people" during her year-long study towards a certificate in agriculture.
"It’s been helpful to improve as a farmer. I knew a bit about dog training before I arrived, but that’s come on a lot thanks to the tutors and training at Telford."
She said she hoped to get a job shepherding at a West Coast station.
"I’ll miss the people, but I’m ready to get into it."