The NZ Certificate in Agriculture (Level 3) Dairy Strand offers you a new, flexible approach to learning. Aiming to get people into paid employment faster. 

Start studying as a full-time student, then when an appropriate job is secured within the farming industry you simply move to our part-time programme and continue studying toward your qualification while working.

This flexibility is made possible by the cooperative relationship between Tai Poutini Polytechnic and the Primary ITO. Both organisations are working together to ensure you are able to move as seamlessly as possible in to the workforce. 

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  • Level:
  • Credit Value:
    125 credits
  • Awards:
    NZ Certificate in Agriculture (Dairy Farm Strand) (Level 3)
  • Location:
    Greymouth and on industry sites across the West Coast region
  • Method of Study:
    Full-time and a part-time option for those working on farms
  • Holiday Duration:
    6 week
  • Teaching Duration:
    36 weeks
  • Total Duration:
    42 weeks
  • Start Date:
    Multiple intakes per year
  • From $6,470 - $6,531 

Core Elements

As a graduate of this programme you will be able to:

  • Maintain your own personal safety and wellbeing in a farm environment
  • Assist with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of livestock health problems
  • Demonstrate knowledge of biosecurity relating to livestock
  • Demonstrate knowledge of soils and assist with soil management practices
  • Demonstrate knowledge and assist with pasture management practices to maintain quality growth and utilisation
  • Demonstrate knowledge of factors which contribute to pastoral livestock feed demand
  • Assist with feeding and supplying water to pastoral livestock to meet production targets
  • Describe livestock reproductive processes and practices
  • Assist with livestock mating and mating management
  • Assist with livestock parturition
  • Assist with neonatal weaning of livestock in a dairy farming operation
  • Assist with milking, and identifying and reporting problems associated with milking dairy livestock
  • Assist with the operation of a farm dairy for milk harvesting
  • Demonstrate knowledge of risks to on-farm milk quality and assist with implementing solutions to milk quality problems
  • Demonstrate knowledge of dairy effluent systems and assist with dairy effluent management

Programme Structure and Workload

Full-time and a part-time options for those who work on farms. This programme is focused on practical learning with elements of online learning. Full-time study and training is carried out on the Tai Poutini Polytechnic training farm. On gaining a trainee role on an appropriate farm you can move to a part-time programme of study supported by our Polytechnic staff and consist of block courses.

Further Study Paths

This qualification may build on the New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Skills (Level 2) and may lead to the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Level 4) with strands in Arable Farming, Dairy Farming, Breeding Livestock Farming, and Non-Breeding Livestock Farming.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this programme will be able to be employed in a range of farming situations, including;

  • as a milk harvester
  • as an assistant herd manager
  • as a farm machinery operator
  • as a general farm hand
  • as a junior shepherd
  • as a contracting staff member 

Entry Criteria

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have NCEA level 1 in English or equivalent.
  • Have a drivers licence – minimum of restricted Class 1 (car) licence.
  • Have suitable physical capability to complete manual tasks.
  • Have evidence of appropriate language competency if English is not the applicant’s first language of IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent) with no band below 5.0.
  • Be willing to carry out industry experience on farm or be employed in the primary industry.
  • Have their application reviewed by TPP staff

Special notes

  • Applications outside the above requirements may be considered by the department Manager of Teaching and Learning