"I like that the programme is practical" says Tayla Connor, "and I like that I can learn outside the classroom."
A year 12 student at Wairarapa College, Tayla wants to study agricultural science at university. She grew up on a beef and sheep farm outside Masterton and knows that she wants to take the knowledge she picked up in her youth and make it her career.
Last year, Tayla joined the Primary Industries Trades Academy (PITA) at Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre as part of her studies in the Primary Industries Vocational Pathway. One day a week she went to Taratahi to learn the theory of farming and then worked on a farm.
Tayla is now in her second year of the programme.
Because Taratahi operates as a farming business, students really feel like they are contributing as if they are in the workplace. At the same time, they are gaining NCEA Level 2 without buckling under the pressures of the classroom, which often leads some students to drop out altogether.
Tayla's interest is beef and lamb. She says she is not afraid of handling big cattle nor does she shy away from tough jobs like fencing. Her solid foundation at Taratahi is raising her confidence, encouraging her to pursue an agricultural career at a higher level.
- The Dominion Post