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Primary ITO: Knowledge to grow

News & Features

Brendan Graham – Weka Farm (PAMU), West Coast

23 November 2020

20201123 Brendon Graham

Should we ever stop learning? West Coast dry stock farmer Brendon Graham doesn’t think so and has established a successful new career in five short years thanks to Primary ITO.  

The 36 year-old former policeman spent 12 months working as a shepherd when he was a teenager but otherwise had no previous farming experience when he applied for a general farm hand position with Landcorp in 2015.   

He quickly rose through the ranks and now manages up to 15,500 stock units (predominately deer) on the edge of Lake Brunner. Completing a Level 3 feeding and pastures course, and a Level 5 Diploma in Agribusiness Management was key to his success.   

“For me, knowledge is power. Knowing your stuff gives you greater opportunities and it certainly helps your day-to-day operations by making things run a bit smoother.”  

Developing a business plan as part of his Agribusiness Diploma has helped Brendon implement some major changes on-farm. “The study helps me to think about where the profitability lies and has given me the encouragement to investigate different methods.”  

He believes everyone should do something to further themselves and he hopes his new qualifications will give him some flexibility to pick and choose where to work in future. 

“I’m in that middle age bracket where you can quite happily drift along in a job but I love investigating things and learning new things. Whatever it is that you’re schooling yourself in, you should always be endeavouring to learn something.”  

As of 1 July 2020, the Government will cover training fees until 31 December 2022. Full details including eligible programmes can be found here.You can also view all Primary ITO sheep, beef and deer qualifications here.  

Contact us on 0800 20 80 20 to talk to your local Training Adviser and see how the growth of your people can add value to your business.