Struan Campbell may be from suburbia but the 19-year-old Jeff Farm cadet has not let that stop him from pursuing a farming path.
“I really enjoy the outdoors,” Mr Campbell said.
“I like the big open spaces.
“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
He grew up in Dunedin but discovered he liked farming after spending time on a relative’s farm near Middlemarch.
“I really like the variety and diversity of farming.”
The selection process for a Jeff Farm cadetship was competitive and could be nerve-racking, he said.
“You’ve got to put yourself out there.”
His advice to future applicants was to look interested.
He was learning how to handle stock and train dogs, as well as how to work as a team.
It was also important to be able to use initiative.
“As a first-year you’re shown how to do things, then they let you do it.
“In second year you’re more independent.”
Pasture management and stock feeding was another learning curve.
“I have to work out how many days I can get out of a paddock.”
This involved using special formulas.
The cadetship course involved NZQA level 3 assessments.
He was well prepared to enter the workforce when he finished his cadetship, he said.
Mr Campbell said he was open to working anywhere.
“The job’s more important than the location.”
The cadets had the best of both worlds as they were paid for their 40 hours a week of training on the job.
He said he was enjoying his farming life.
A highlight was seeing his four dogs grow and improve over time.
He also enjoyed spending his free time outdoors spearfishing and playing rugby.