Study farming in the stunning Central Otago high country and prepare for a rewarding career on the land.

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

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

Our New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) (Level 3) and New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure) (Level 3) is the only high country farming programme in New Zealand. Learn an extensive range of best practice farming skills in the classroom, workshop, woolshed and in the high country – including fine wool production and woolshed operations, mustering, machinery maintenance, and pasture production and management.

High country farming programme (Level 3)

  • Central Otago
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 3
  • Starts February, April and July
  • Apply until start date

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 of this programme will receive both the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) (Level 3) and New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure) (Level 3).

Quick Links

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

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High country

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 course 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.  

Read more about the National Certificate in Farming Skills (Work Ready) (Level 3)