Study farming in the stunning Central Otago landscape with the only farming programme in New Zealand with a high country flavour!

The agriculture industry needs passionate people who love working in the outdoors.

With this hands-on programme, you'll be working on practical tasks, and experiencing different things almost every day. By the time you leave, we’ll have you confident, competent and work-ready.

You'll an extensive range of best practice farming skills in the classroom, workshop, woolshed and in the high country – including animal handling and health, vehicles and machinery, pastures and soils, and food and fibre production.  


This programme is free due to the Government's Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) (although you'll still need to pay additional course-related and living costs). 

Level 3 High country farming

Location: Central Otago | Start: February, April and July | Delivery: Full-time

Farming careers are fun and rewarding and there is strong demand nationally for passionate people who want to work with livestock in the farming industry. This Central Otago-based qualification is the only farming training programme in New Zealand with a high country flavour. Graduates will be able to be employed in pastoral farming/rural-based workplaces under limited supervision. 

To find out more about what's happening in New Zealand's farming industry check out Young Country and NZ Farmer. 



High country skills

Despite growing up in a city, Southlander Ben Maxwell experienced the country way of life through farming friends and extended family – and knew his vocation lay on the land.

Now, he is using Central’s National Certificate in Farming Skills (level 3) to make this calling a reality. “I have always had a real passion for the farming industry and enjoyed the lifestyle associated with it. The programme offered a great opportunity to learn new skills,” Ben says.The practical aspects of his qualification – like perfecting his shearing skills – are the areas he has really enjoyed.

“I enjoyed getting up in the hills mustering. I love the outdoors and working with livestock,” he says.

His appreciation of the rural lifestyle has even extended to joining the local Cromwell rugby club. Which is great, as it looks Ben will be staying around for a while. Through work experience organised by Central he has secured a full-time position on Carrick Station, near Bannockburn, once his course has finished.