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Pupils from six colleges throughout Central and North Otago attended an agriculture careers day at the Lincoln University-owned Mt Grand Station, Lake Hawea, last week.
The day was organised by rural consultant John Bates, of Alexandra, in association with Lincoln University.
The day was designed to introduced small groups of high school pupils from the schools to the career possibilities the agriculture sector offered.
They came from Roxburgh Area School, Mackenzie College, Mt Aspiring College, Dunstan High School, Blue Mountain College and Maniototo Area School.
The pupils listened to 12 speakers in six modules covering dog handling and animal health, conservation, finances, farm management, sheep breeding and dairying.
Speakers talked about their roles in the industry and what working in the sector was like and there was even discussion about the salaries on offer.
Mr Bates said there was a good line-up of speakers and he was pleased with how the day went.
''It was a great opportunity for people from Lincoln University, Cromwell Polytechnic and Young Farmers New Zealand to catch up with a lot of the teachers,'' he said.
''I think the day was really valuable as there is no question that, as an industry, we need to think really seriously how to encourage more young people to enter the sector.
''We need to be thinking about it a lot more and exposing the kids to the opportunities and the support networks.
Blue Mountain College teacher Liz Murray said the conversation about the day on the way back to Tapanui was positive.
''They all greatly enjoyed the day,'' she said.
''They were positive about the different speakers and felt that another similar day needs to be run in the future.
''A couple said it was good to find out about careers outside the farm gate.
''They were more aware of the opportunities available to them.
''One boy was going to do some research in an area that he enjoyed hearing about.''