The History of Taratahi Institute of Agriculture
Taratahi has been successfully training Kiwis for agricultural careers since 1919. It offers full-time courses, diploma programmes, short courses, and an Agriculture in Schools programme which includes Primary Industries Trades Academy, STAR, and extra mural study.
Taratahi is a unique training establishment widely recognised not only for its historical contribution to New Zealand’s agricultural sector but also for its commitment to providing innovative training in a constantly evolving industry.
Our vision is a high performing workforce. Our mission is to build workforce skills in primary industries through quality education, the demonstration, and dissemination of knowledge and skill.
With residential campuses and fully operational farms in Masterton and Telford, along with with non-residential campuses in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatu, Hawke’s Bay and Southland, Taratahi Institute of Agriculture is New Zealand’s largest provider of vocational training in agriculture.
The name ‘Taratahi’ by itself is instantly recognisable. Synonymous with delivering competent and confi dent young men and women to the New Zealand agricultural industry; prepared for the realities of farm life and ready to hit the ground running.
Originally established in the Wairarapa in 1919 to provide returned servicemen training in agriculture, Taratahi’s focus has long since shifted to preparing young people and career changers for futures in agriculture —be it dairy, beef and sheep, deer, equine and, more latterly, apiculture.
Last year Taratahi took stewardship of Balclutha based agri-training centre Telford, merging operations, and increasing its educational reach.
Students and tutors outside of the Wairarapa have access to over 100 farms around the country, enabling them the same opportunitues as those on the residential campus, completing the same course and programme.
Taratahi Wairarapa operates a 224ha dairy platform 10 minutes south of Masterton, with its northern boundary on the Waingawa River, which irrigates about 180ha of the platform.
Dairy unit manager/tutor Nigel King says the farm sits on quite heavy clay based soils that can get very wet during winter and spring so have to be carefully managed.
The cows are wintered on reasonably stony land on an adjoining neighbours property. Nigel says this year 22ha of kale have been bought from the neighbour and the cows will be wintered on that, providing a further educational opportunity for Taratahi students.
550 kiwi cross cows are milked through a 46-aside herringbone shed, a ‘milking 101’ operation that helps to embed the core practical skills and knowledge required by industry
Life in University of Taratahi Institute of Agriculture