AGRI-BUSINESS

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Agri-business professionals provide a range of skilled, professional services to farmers and farm businesses.

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Environmental Consultant

Environmental Consultants addresses environmental issues such as water pollution, air quality, and soil contamination.

An Environmental Consultant conducts both field and desk-based research, and will write detailed scientific reports to be understood by non-technical people.

Farmers may need official permission to carry out activities on their farm that impact on the environment, such as irrigation. Environmental Consultants understand the laws farmers need to follow, and might help them to work with regional councils to apply for consents/permission. Environmental Consultants may work a government agency, private company or have their own business.

Generally, Environmental Consultants have a postgraduate qualification in science like a Bachelor's Degree in:
  • • Science (with environmental papers)
  • • Environmental Science
  • • Environmental Management and Planning
  • • Agricultural Science
  • • Biological Science
  • • Soil Science
  • • Earth Science
  • • Fresh Water Ecology
  • • Engineering

Watch this video about an Environmental Consultant and her daily work.

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Rural Accountant

Rural Accountants provide accounting systems and services relating to taxation and the financial dealings of rural businesses such as dairy farms. Rural Accountants prepare financial statements, record the amount of money spent and received, check budgets and do GST.

Generally, Rural Accountants have a Bachelor's degree in:
  • • Agricultural Commerce
  • • Accounting / Economics
  • • Business Studies
  • • Agribusiness
  • • Commerce

Find out more about being a Rural Accountant at CareersNZ.

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Environmental Analyst / Scientist

Environmental Analysts / Scientists are often scientists who study the environment and how plants, animals and other organisms are affected by the environment. They also analyse human activities and determine our impact on the environment including climate change.

Environmental Analysts / Scientists advise how to avoid or reduce harmful effects on the environment. They might work for a government organisation or as a consultant in a private business.

Generally, Environmental Analysts / Scientists have a postgraduate qualification in science like a Bachelor's Degree in:
  • • Science (with environmental papers)
  • • Environmental Science
  • • Environmental Management and Planning
  • • Agricultural Science
  • • Biological Science
  • • Soil Science
  • • Earth Science
  • • Fresh Water Ecology
  • • Engineering

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Dairy Farming

Dairy farming offers a career outdoors, working in a team, with farm animals, machinery, technology, pasture and crops. An average farmer uses about ten different agri-business and agri-science advisors to help run their farm business.

Possible dairy farming careers include Farm Assistant, Herd Manager, Assistant Manager 2IC, Farm Manager, Business Operations Manager, Variable Order Sharemilker and Contract Milker, 50:50 Sharemilker and Farm Owner.

Check out GoDairy's Dairy Farming page to discover opportunities.

Because dairy farming is many jobs...

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Economist

Economists study financial, labour and trade markets, analyse and interpret data, develop forecasts, and explain economic events. Agricultural Economists examine impacts on rural industries and communities, evaluate national and regional policy, and provide economic research for the Agricultural sector.

Economists may advise governments and businesses, develop or assess economic policies and plans, and usually work in offices.

Generally, Economists have a Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Economics, such as a Bachelor's degree in:
  • • Business
  • • Social Sciences
  • • Management

More about being an Economist at CareersNZ.

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People Capability Specialist / Developer

At DairyNZ, People Capability Specialists promote good employment and people management practice on farm. Their goal is to ensure the sector has enough capable people and that people on farm experience decent and motivating workplaces.

This is a career that’s all about people. People Capability Specialists need to be passionate about the growth of people in the primary sector, work independently and with others, and able to create and communicate because they run workshops, develop resources and share information to help farmers.

People Capability Specialists focus on translating knowledge about best management practices and technologies into useable products like DairyNZ’s People Productivity Kit or Career Pathways and services like leadership workshops or seminars for farmers and rural professionals.

People Capability Specialist often have experience in managing people on farm, practical dairy farming experience, and exposure to people management practices.

A tertiary qualification isn’t essential but desirable and an understanding of adult learning principles is helpful.

Generally, People Capability Specialists have a bachelor’s degree in:

  • Science (BSc)
  • Agri-science (B. Ag)
  • Social Science
  • Psychology

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Agricultural Technical Advisor

Agricultural Technical Advisors have specialist subject knowledge, they could be a fertiliser representative or grain and seed agent. Agricultural Technical Advisors might work for a feed, agri-tech, fertiliser, agrichemical, or grain and seed company.

Agricultural Technical Advisors give advice and/or sell products and provide information on usage, pasture, and crop and livestock management. Some work for themselves. They often visit clients, arrange contracts and payment details for products or services, train clients to use products, answer enquiries and keep sales records and predict future market trends. Agricultural Technical Advisors are usually based at a branch office, store or depot of their employer.

Some Agricultural Technical Advisors have years of experience and professional certifications or accreditations, others have a degrees or postgraduate degrees and give scientific advice. You might be a specialist in dairy cow feed or know how to prevent lameness in cows, or how to plant a waterway.

Generally, Agricultural Technical Advisors have a Bachelor’s degree in:
  • • Agricultural Science (Agri-Science)
  • • Science (Agriculture)
  • • Commerce (Agriculture)
  • • Agribusiness

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Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineers assess the impact of engineering projects on water, soil, air, and noise levels, and advise and design ways to minimise this impact. They also plan and design systems to treat and remove waste, such as waste water systems, take air, water and land samples, and prepare assessments and reports.

Environmental Engineers often work for private consultancies or government agencies.

Generally, Environmental Engineers have a Bachelor's degree in:
  • • Engineering
  • • Engineering with Honours (specialising in civil, environmental and natural resources engineering)
  • • Engineering Technology (specialising in civil, natural and resources engineering)

More about being an Environmental Engineer at CareersNZ.

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Rural Banker

Rural Bankers look after a number of farming clients, helping them with their business needs. They meet with clients on a regular basis to discuss how the customer is working towards achieving their goals - this could be about buying or selling land, livestock and a range of other assets, or how to involve other family members. It can be an extremely rewarding job being a key member of your customers business team.

Generally, Rural Bankers have a Bachelor's degree in:
  • • Agricultural Commerce
  • • Accounting / Economics
  • • Agricultural Science (Agri-Science)
  • • Agribusiness
  • • Commerce / Finance
  • • Business Studies

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Rural / Retail Services

There are many different kinds of careers within the Rural / Retail Services sector. For example, you could work at a farm store helping customers and making sales, then advance to a Technical Sales Representative who visits farmers to give technical knowledge and provide up-to-date information to help farmers make decisions.

In the Rural / Retail Services sector you can start fresh from school and progress into more technical roles and management positions with on-the-job training provided. Some stores offer tertiary education graduate roles.

Some Rural / Retail Services qualifications include:
  • • National Certificate in Rural Servicing
  • • On-the-job training
  • • Certificate in Agriculture (Level 4)
  • • Diploma in Agriculture
  • • Diploma in Agri-business Management
  • • Bachelor of Agri-science
  • • Bachelor of Business Studies

Rural / Retail Services roles and career progression at a farm store.

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Farm Advisor / Consultant

Farm Advisors / Consultants provide professional advice to farmers on how to improve the profitability, efficiency, and sustainability of their farm systems.

There are many kinds of Farm Advisors / Consultants who help farmers in different ways. You might work for an agricultural or horticultural business, an insurance, fertiliser or dairy company, or be a specialist in animal breeding or research. You might work for a government agency or be self-employed.

Generally, you need a Bachelor’s degree in:
  • • Agricultural Science (Agri-Science)
  • • Science (Agriculture)
  • • Commerce (Agriculture)
  • • Agribusiness
  • • Economics-Agriculture

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Agricultural Contractor

Agricultural Contractors supply a variety of services to the agricultural industry. General operations include cultivation, seed drilling, harvesting of cereals, root and forage crops, hedge cutting, and agricultural lime and manure spreading.

Generally, Agricultural Contractors qualifications include:
  • • On-the-job training
  • • Correct class of drivers licence for heavy machinery
  • • National Certificate in Rural Contracting
  • • National Certificate in Agricultural Contracting
  • • Diploma in Agriculture
  • • Diploma in Agri-business Management
  • • Bachelor of Agri-business / Agri-science
  • • Bachelor of Business Studies

Watch this video about a day in the life of an Agricultural Contractor.

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Consulting Officer

A Consulting Officer is DairyNZ’s version of a Farm Advisor / Consultant.

Consulting Officers work with and help farmers make decisions around finances, cows and grass, and people management. They facilitate the flow of information coming from the research and development teams at DairyNZ to the farmers, and the flow of information from farmers to the research team.

Generally, Consulting Officers have a Bachelor’s degree in:
  • • Agricultural Science (Agri-Science)
  • • Science (Agriculture)
  • • Commerce (Agriculture)
  • • Agribusiness
  • • Economics-Agriculture

Watch this video about a DairyNZ Consultant Officer's daily work.

did you know?

An average farmer uses about ten different advisors to help run their farm business.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?

You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do right now. If you have a general idea, you can take some next steps.

Possible Agri-business workplaces

  • Seed or agri-chemical companies
  • Agri-business companies
  • Farm retail stores
  • Banks
  • Private consultant companies
  • Government organisations
  • Rural lenders
  • Fertiliser companies
  • Accounting firms

STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU

Dairy sector hats, profiles of dairy career including agri-business careers

Education

school subjects

Recommended secondary school subjects include English, Biology, Chemistry, Statistics and Modelling; Science, Maths with Calculus, Economics / Accounting, Geography.

TERTIARY STUDY

It’s preferred you have a tertiary qualification. Find out about the course, the campus, city life, and lifestyle you can expect, find out where to study.

WHERE TO STUDY

Discover training and study options on the interactive map.

“I studied a degree in farm management then went overseas and saw farming systems around the world. The knowledge I gained from travel, practical experience and university is invaluable.”

Matt Benton, Farm Consultant

DAIRYNZ SCHOLARSHIPS

INVALUABLE NETWORKING AND MENTORING OPPORTUNITIES, AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Apply now!

DAIRYNZ SCHOLARSHIPS

INVALUABLE NETWORKING AND MENTORING OPPORTUNITIES AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Apply now!

GETTING YOUR FIRST JOB

GET A MENTOR

A mentor is someone already working or familiar with the career you choose; someone you respect and can use as a sounding board for your ideas.

NETWORK and CONNECT

Talk to people, visit workplaces, ask questions, search the internet and connect with people and workplaces in the area you want to work. 

internships and graduate positions

Internships and graduate positions are a great way to begin your career journey. Check out Next Step, New Zealand’s youth employment platform.

“Go out for a day with people in the sector that interests you to get the best insight into whether the job is for you or not.”

Samantha Robinson, national fodder beet technical specialist, Agricom

Job search

Check out DairyNZ, Farm Source jobsTrade Me jobsSeek and Indeed.

OTHER DAIRY SECTOR CAREERS

Have you considered an agri-science or dairy farming career?

DISCOVER YOUR FIT

What do you enjoy? Match your skills and interests to a dairy sector career.

WHERE TO STUDY

Find out options to learn and study for a successful dairy sector career.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU

Read stories about people just like you and their journeys to successful dairy sector careers.

INSPIRING STORIES

News and stories about people in dairy farming, agri-science and agri-business careers.