Each year there are dozens of school leaver career and study options on offer among the more than 1000 displays at Fieldays. One of the best, especially for city slickers, is the Amazing Race food challenge.
The Amazing Race is designed to show city students the career opportunities available in the primary industries. The event is organised by NZ Young Farmers and funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand.
“It’s about showing city kids that there is more to food production than cows and gumboots,” said a NZ Young Farmers spokeswoman. As part of the challenge, students visited sites of tertiary education providers, companies and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
For many it was a mind-changing exercise that could potentially become a life-changing exercise.
Here's some student feedback on the Amazing Race
- “I thought we were coming to see cows being milked, but this is mind-blowing,” Year 12 student Linda-Rae Porter.
- “Being here has really opened my eyes. It’s exciting. I didn’t realise most of these companies even existed,” Year 12 student Jillianne Faletaogo.
- “Then I arrived at Fieldays and was like ‘wow’. This is not what I expected. Now I’m considering working in agri-science,” Year 12 student Saane Fotu.
- “When we heard (that Lincoln grads could earn between $80,000 and $150,000 working as rural consultants) I thought ‘that’s going to be my new career’.”
- “I have found today so interesting. I had hardly heard of any of these businesses before coming to Fieldays,” said one Year 11 student. “The trip has really opened my eyes to the careers available, especially around science and technology.”
- “My highlight was touching a sheep for the first time,” laughed one Year 12 student
- “I’m studying biology and keen to work in the agri-food sector and what I learned today will help me choose a career,” one student reported after the event.
Among the 133,000 expected visitors at Fieldays near Hamilton were the Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, and some students taking part in the Amazing Race food challenge were able to meet them.
This was the third year that NZ Young Farmers have staged the Amazing Race food challenge at Fieldays.