More city-dwellers needed in farming

New Zealand dairying needs an injection of fresh thinking about staffing including how more people from cities can be encouraged to make farming their career according to farm management consultant, Kerry Ryan.
“While there are some excellent efforts going into attracting school leavers and graduates into dairying this could be complemented with creative approach to attracting people from cities who may be more suited to the demands and opportunities of dairying career,” he says.
“High calibre and committed people could be attracted to dairying career if we communicated more about the rewards. Often the non financial benefits such as proximity to family, rural upbringing for children and the opportunity to work in significantly lower stress environment are overlooked.
“I see our industry trying to attract young people who in their teens would rather be going out and having good time and not be concerned about early starts, and who can blame them. The social interests and career uncertainty of that age tend to conflict with the discipline and commitment required for dairying career,” he says.
“We need to communicate the very competitive financial packages now being paid and recognise that although applicants from the city may not have the exact skills we are looking for, they will have the attitudes and trainability that mean they can fast track into management roles.”
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