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Essential Farm Skills

Growing Future Farmers

  • A two-year programme – 44 weeks per year from mid-January to the end of November

  • Zero fees

  • Practical workplace training and development

  • NZQA New Zealand Certificates via EIT in

    • Primary Industries (level 2 and 3)

    • Pre-Employment Skills (level 3)

    • Certificate in Agriculture (level 3) Meat and/or Fibre Strand

  • Pastoral care and Liaison support in the regions

  • Weekly Sponsorship allowance

  • Essential Farm Skills Programme

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The programme is
supported by:

  • GFF registered farms and farm trainers throughout NZ – teaching and training students in a genuine workplace

  • NZQA National Certificate Qualifications – EIT

  • Independent Liaison Managers

Providing a career pathway for farmers of the future

  • GFF aims to amplify academic learning, as a practical extension to any tertiary qualification, and accelerate the careers of secondary school leavers from entry-level Essential Farm Skills through to Advanced Farm Skills and Business Management

  • The structured programmes offer an array of industry training and development courses within the National Certificates – includes cloud-based learning, on-farm workshops, cluster group learning and classroom studies

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Our Selection Criteria

Empathy for animals
Self sufficiency
Attitude and
willingness to learn
Level of numeracy
and literacy
Drivers Licence
School and 
character reference

Growing Future Farmers (GFF) delivers the largest farmer-led vocational workforce training programme in the New Zealand Ag-sector.
Born in 2020 from our desire to do something proactive to support young people into successful farming careers, our kaupapa is simple: training “by farmers, for farmers”.

Over 100+ GFF accredited farm trainers nationally have volunteered to deliver our intensive, 2-year, highly practical on-the-farm scholarship programme for youth aged 16 - 20. They are supported by industry and community experts, along with our GFF liaison managers in 14 regions.


NZQA accredited, GFF is designed to both amplify academic learning, as a practical extension to any tertiary qualification, and provide a direct trade qualification for those straight out of secondary school.


We are proud to say that 100% of our graduates are now fully employed in the industry.

It is great to be able to offer his student a one-on-one relevant programme and having a keen young person training in his team made a big difference.


As employers, we need to lead our own training programmes as we are the beneficiaries."

Pete Mc Carthy, Cross Hills

Student Testimonials


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GFF Testimonial_Stan_Year 1

GFF Testimonial_Stan_Year 1

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GFF Testimonial_Jack_Year 2

GFF Testimonial_Jack_Year 2

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GFF Testimonial_Galaxie_Year 2

GFF Testimonial_Galaxie_Year 2

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Student Application
Farm Trainer Application

Have a question?

Check out our FAQ's to find out more details on what is involved in being a farm trainer.