From San Francisco to Kakaramea

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It’s not every day that you hear of people swapping urban San Francisco for Kakaramea, but recent WITT Te Pūkenga ākonga Ethan Elejorde did just that. With a Kiwi mum, New Zealand has always held some intrigue for Ethan and as soon as he could save enough money from his supermarket job and outwait COVID-19 travel restrictions he made the move across the Pacific to New Zealand.

Family connections drew him to South Taranaki and work on a dairy farm seemed the obvious work choice for the nature lover.

Last year Ethan completed the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture Farming Systems (Level 3) at WITT while working part-time and now is a full-time worker on a large South Taranaki dairy farm.

He says he loved the hands-on nature of studying at WITT and enjoyed the respectful learning environment tutor Adrian Edser built. 

“I highly recommend the course and the tutor had a unique teaching style that really helped me learn a lot,” he says. 

Adrian brushes off the compliment saying he just treats everyone as an equal and tries to create a strong class culture where no one is above anyone else.

“I focus on teamwork and everyone getting to know one another and supporting each other to create a good strong environment for learning,” he says.

Before Ethan moved to New Zealand he was a self-confessed city boy but now he says he loves the peacefulness of working on the land and is at home in a rural environment.

“Starting the day milking can be very cathartic,” he adds.

Adrian is not surprised to see someone from an urban background succeed in farming coming from a city background himself.

“Agriculture is a massive industry and it’s only natural it’s going to attract people from all walks of life,” he says.

Adrian recommends the course to anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of farming, build confidence and demonstrate to a potential employer they are resilient and can commit to something. 

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