A new way for farmers, farm workers and agribusiness owners to improve their business skills is being promoted at National Fieldays.
The Agriculture Industry Training Organisation (AgITO) is offering for the first time the option for people to study for the AgITO national diploma in agribusiness management in sections or modules, rather than completing the diploma all in one go.
AgITO spokeswoman Claire Naeraa-Spiers said the new way of learning was aimed at giving people more flexibility.
"It makes it easier to achieve the qualification because people can study in manageable blocks. If they have a particular skill interest or need, they can just do a module in that particular interest area."
Modules include business and finance, taxation and investment, resource management and planning, ownership and risk, and human resource management.
The diploma is aimed particularly at farm owners, sharemilkers and agribusiness owners. Interest in the diploma, AgITO's flagship training programme, was high at Fieldays, Mrs Naeraa-Spiers said.
Most people were interested in intermediate to management level training for themselves. Farm managers and employers were also showing interest in investing in training for their teams.
"People are recognising there is a real need in the industry for more training at management level. That need is being driven by the increasing complexity of agribusinesses, and banks are demanding more financial information from farmers.
"There's a higher need for people to do budgets and cashflow rather than just expecting their professional to do it. With the fluctuating payout, it is important for people to know what the implications are for their bank balance and cashflow."
People can do the diploma from anywhere in New Zealand, with courses available throughout the country. Tutorials are held locally and are flexible to fit the farm work day.
There were slightly more women than men studying the diploma, Mrs Naeraa-Spiers said. "It is often the woman in the partnership that does the financial side of the business."
People interested in finding out more about studying with AgITO can phone 0800 691 111.
- Waikato Times