Business Rural Winter 2022

| 39 MEAT & WOOL » Coleridge Downs Ltd Tony and Pam Plunkett. Tavendale and Partners is a leading all-service New Zealand law firm with an unrivalled understanding of the country's most important primary industries. We are proud to support Coleridge Downs. | | +64 3 374 9999 Precision Spreading Call 03 302 8650 55 Line Road, Methven, 7730, Mid Canterbury. BRS are proud to support Coleridge Downs • Tertiary accredited for Health & Safety • Based centrally in Geraldine • Year round work • Quality training • Fantastic accommodation and meals CHRISTCHURCH 352 Hasketts Road 03 349 5089 PROUD TO SUPPORT COLERIDGE DOWNS All of Coleridge Downs’ students do the Primary ITO (Level 3) course, spending half-a-day a week in the classroom with the farm’s Training Manager, Kristian Hubburd. Kristian splits her time between the students and her own role working on the farm. “The biggest thing that I underestimated when we started ve years ago that you’ve got to remember that they have come straight from school and even if they were at boarding school, they still struggle with the transition. “Because the difference between the way we run our training farm and most other training farms is that these young people are our work force. We pay them, and they must live in the real world and front up, because that’s the best way to learn.” Tony says he can’t underscore the work Kristian does with the young people throughout their two years. She is not only their teacher. She is also their camp mum. “We nd reality of it all sinks in pretty quick, and the wheels generally fall off about the middle of February,” Tony said. “We patch them up, get them going again, and then they never look back.” At the end of the rst year, they are allowed to add a huntaway dog to their team. At the end of their course, they generally have their own team of four dogs. “We start with the heading dog because they’re not as boisterous, and they can do a lot more with a heading dog,” Tony said. “We have a lot of stock, so those dogs need to be trained properly. The rst-year students learn from the second-year’s example. Our managers are a big help. We also bring in dog trainers, Stu Millar and Lloyd Smith.” He says including students straight from school (before they learn bad habits) has been a positive addition to their operation, and they have been grati ed to see their young people starting to get up to three job offers at the end of their time at Coleridge Downs. “The second-year students are our grunt, and if they are not up to speed it causes a few issues,” Tony said. “The second years always looking at the rst years when they start – because at that time we are always in the middle of weaning and we’re busy – and they always think they must have been more capable when they started than the new guys are. I always remind them that they weren’t, and it’s a great chance for them to appreciate how far they have come. “It is a lot of effort, but we’re getting some really passionate kids coming through and if someone wants to learn, you’re 90% there. It’s not plain sailing with young people anyways, and even if we didn’t have a training school, we’d have young people on the property. This way we have processes and procedures in place. “We’re also getting a reputation for the work we’re doing with these kids, and we’re just starting to see some of them go into senior roles. “That’s a great thing to be part of.”