Close encounter

Ag Pathways programme participant Kelly-Anne Hopper hugs cattle in Southland last month.

Rabobank lower South Island Client Council chairman Craig Whiteside said 29 young farmers from Otago, Southland and Canterbury spent a day and a-half sharpening their business management and planning skills at the Rabobank programme.

The programme aimed to develop young farmers’ skills and contacts so they could advance their careers in the agricultural sector, he said.

More than 150 young farmers from across the lower South Island had attended the programme since its launch in 2015. The programme cohort this year was one of the largest groups in the history of the event.

"I think this is likely down to the positive feedback past participants of the programme have passed on to other farmers from around the region."