Encouraging young people into horticulture careers is vital to the future of our industry.
Last month Matt Dolan had the privilege to present at the Horticulture Agriculture Teachers Association (HATA) Conference in Motueka, where he learned that after decades of declining student numbers, horticulture classes are again filling up. This year there are more than 5000 students studying horticulture and related primary industry programs at secondary school and numbers are steadily on the rise. To encourage the best and brightest students to progress into higher education and university programs, an Agribusiness program has also been established.
Horticulture teachers want to encourage students to pursue their studies beyond school, so here are some things that greenhouse growers can do to help.
First of all, contact your local schools and let them know that you in their area. Also, offering to host a school visit will definitely be an eye-opener to some students. Moreover, your skilled staff may be keen to provide a demonstration of skills, like grafting.
HATA NZ promotes the teaching and learning of Horticultural and Agricultural Science in New Zealand schools. HATA encourages, supports, and shares information about curriculum, teaching, and learning, through the running of biennial conferences, managing a website, publishing quarterly newsletters, regular communication with members and connections with industry bodies like NZ Plant Producers.
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