Thu 30 Sep 2021

Tutors ignite a love for farming

An Agriculture class at WITT might look a little different from your ‘average’ classroom setting. On a daily basis students might be seen milking cows, feeding out hay or silo, or learning how to put up a fence.

When asked about the course, WITT Agriculture Tutor Adrian Edsar was quick to shut down the common misconception that you need to grow up on a farm to be able to do the course. 

“I began as a ‘townie’ myself. Most of our students who come to study agriculture have not grown up on a dairy farm. Our agriculture course gives these students an opportunity to get real experience on real farms,” he said.

Kellie Champion, a current student in the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture Farming Systems (Level 3), is one of the only students in her class that has grown up in a farming environment.

“This course isn’t just for country kids. Town people don’t have a chance to experience the farm lifestyle and this course gives them this opportunity. It’s an awesomely practical course, and you get to work a lot with others” she said.

WITT currently offer a range of courses in the primary industry sector that are all practical skills-based and are run by tutors with a vast amount of industry experience.

Agriculture tutor Adrian has been teaching at WITT for five years now and he started his journey straight out of school.

“I first came to WITT (then known as Taranaki Polytechnic) when I left school. I joined the Agriculture programme to study dairy farming,” he said.

Adrian went on to work his way up to managing dairy farms near Inglewood and Stratford, before considering the opportunity to give back through education.

Having experienced tutors such as Adrian teaching the course is one of the many benefits for students studying these courses at WITT.

Current Agriculture student Brad Frost says the tutors are a big part of why he turns up to his course every day.

“I was looking for a course for ages, and I wasn't completely sure this would be the one, but I absolutely love it. The culture, people and the tutors have kept me coming back,” he said.

For class mate, Ryan Hall the agriculture course has helped him grow in many ways, some different from his classmates. When he started off studying the course he had an unusual fear of cows. Through the support of the tutors and the wider WITT team Ryan is now in love with the course and farming.

Ryan’s advice for future students who are thinking about studying, “If you are apprehensive about doing something, don’t overthink it. If you like it, do it and make sure you give it a go a few times and don’t be scared. This course has taught me there are two parts to fear. You can think about everything and run away or you can face everything and rise” he said.

Learn more about WITT’s primary industries courses.