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Total: 220

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Undergraduate: 4

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Ag Challenge was established over 30 years ago, to enable real-world training and experience in the field of Animal Care & Technology, Agriculture & Farming, Construction, Carpentry & Allied Trades. Originally, it was a farm where small groups of people learned basic dairying skills, in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare. These people were able then to find jobs in the dairy industry.


The practical hands-on experience is provided on two dairy farms with a building site, where students practice construction knowledge and build a relocatable classroom, 1200 cows and an operating Veterinary Clinic.


Ag Challenge offers training programmes at level 1 to 5 in Agriculture, Animal Care & Technology, and Building & Construction, delivering a skills-set and experience to meet the high demand for qualified professionals in the dairy industry. 

The Agriculture programme at Ag Challenge was designed to qualify for the most updated and best focussed agricultural programmes, delivering training on Dairy Farming, with references to sheep and beef as well. The training starts from a foundation level, through to farming systems technology. Students can focus on vehicles and machinery, or dairy milk harvesting.

The Animal Care & Technology programme is provided in collaboration with the Wanganui Vet Services (WVS), training students in a real operating veterinary clinic. The tutoring is delivered by Ag College’s tutors, focusing on the health, care and wellbeing of companion animals, such as dogs and cats, through to large animals like horses.

As for the Building, Construction & Allied Trades, Ag Challenge holds an extensive range of programmes, starting from the foundation level training, which contains theoretical studies of the components of building apprenticeships. Also, new programmes for Painting and Decorating (level 3) were recently established. The programmes are supported by professionals from the industry, to ensure that the right set of skills is delivered to Ag Challenge’s graduates.

Additional courses

 Ag Challenge’s portfolio of programmes also includes short courses for different industries, such as Fencing, Quad Bike Safety, Chainsaws, Milk Harvesting, Tractor Safety and more. Another programme is designed for secondary school students, giving them the experience of building a site, or working on a farm. The students will also gain NCEA credits and can choose a programme for one day or two days.         

Students who prefer to study from their home convenience can purchase NZQA unit standards for distance learning. It might be an extra tutoring programme for schools as well.

For clients of the Work and Income Jobseekers Benefit programme, Ag Challenge offers a 13-week programme, to upskill with relevant knowledge to get into full-time employment. This will allow them to stay on the benefit programme and to receive help with the costs related to job-seeking, such as travel costs, clothing and driver’s license. In addition, these clients will be able to build a network within the industry and make new friendships.


Ag Challenge staff and tutors are experienced professionals, who have worked in the industry or still working in it. There are around 20 staff with 12 tutors, who care for their students and do their best to help them to achieve their goals. The study method is focused on applying the theoretical knowledge into real-life situations, to provide them with all the necessary skills for the industry.

The staff at Ag Challenge help to choose the right programme, tailored to the student’s preferences. All the programmes are practical, with integrated numeracy and literacy, and hands-on training. Students can combine their learning at school with learning at the Ag Challenge. The programmes are taking place during school hours and transport and breakfasts are available for their convenience.

Social involvement  

The organization is proud to be involved in the community and to sponsor sporting initiatives, especially those associated with kids, such as the Under 13 rep tennis, U16 Wanganui rugby and school sports teams like rugby. The owner himself is an experienced horse-racing man, who has been sponsoring one of the ‘listed’ races on the National Racing Calendar at the Whanganui Races each Queen’s Birthday weekend, under the name of the Ag Challenge Stakes.

All the programmes at Ag Challenge are approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and NZQA, and available for assistance from Studylink.

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