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New graduate programme driven by farmer demand for specialist agribusiness expertise

Perrin Ag’s new graduate programme responds to demand from farmers and growers for specialist agribusiness expertise as they navigate their way through unprecedented change.

Specialist skills in agriculture and horticulture consulting are in hot demand, but graduates with the tertiary qualifications and interpersonal skills needed to help facilitate change are in short supply.

Perrin Ag has launched its EMPOWER Graduate Advisor Development Programme to help fill the gap. The firm has committed to taking on a graduate advisor every 24 months and is now inviting applications from graduates from Massey, Lincoln and Waikato universities for 2022.

The successful candidate will be mentored through hands-on training and given the opportunity to specialise in primary industry consulting.  

Perrin Ag Managing Director Lee Matheson says that as farmers work to meet regional and national policy requirements, more skilled agribusiness advisors will be needed to help coach farmers through it.

“New Zealand’s farmers and growers are navigating their way through unchartered territory. We want to make sure they have access to the best people to help them continue to run sustainable and resilient farm businesses.

“Our primary industries need fresh thinking and new talent to help them innovate, learn and facilitate the work that needs to be done.”

Matheson says Perrin Ag’s business is built on the trusted relationships its team has with people who have one of the most important jobs there is – growing food. 

“Having the right people on our team who can nurture those relationships is crucial. We are confident our EMPOWER programme can help us find the right skills and talent for the job.”

While the EMPOWER programme is a formal process, Perrin Ag has been taking on graduates since 2013.

Rachel Durie started with Perrin Ag in 2019 after graduating from Lincoln University with an Honours degree in Agricultural Science.  

Originally from the South Waikato, Durie pursued a career in agribusiness because she wanted to help farmers find practical solutions to the wide range of challenges facing the agriculture sector.

Based at Perrin Ag’s Rotorua head office, Rachel works with farm managers to implement strategic farm and business plans, as part of her dairy advisory work. She also conducts land use change analysis, including research on incorporating forestry and trees into pastoral farm businesses, and provides clients with environmental support and Overseer modelling.

“The support from the Perrin Ag team has been outstanding coming in as a new consultant in a company with such a diverse portfolio,” says Durie. “There are so many opportunities to continually learn, explore areas of interest and be recognised for achievement within such an innovative business. Perrin Ag is an exciting company to be a part of.”

Successful graduates will complete post-graduate training with Perrin Ag in sustainable nutrient management and agricultural greenhouse gases. They will also receive industry certification and accreditation in areas including Dairy Farm Systems Certification, Farm Environment Planning Certification, as well as develop competency in industry software and introductory level Te Reo. A professional membership to the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management is also provided.

Graduates with degrees in primary sector sciences, economics or resource management, who are passionate about New Zealand’s land based primary sector are encouraged to apply.

“Our EMPOWER programme is a great way for graduates to get a taste for a number of different industry sectors. There is a wide variety of work and access to training opportunities and supportive mentors, which is important as they begin their agribusiness careers,” says Matheson. “We are excited to see the breadth and diversity of young talent coming through our industry.”

Applications close Friday 10th September 2021. For more information click here.