Out and About with Future Journalists

10 Jun 2016

 Massey Blog


HortNZ got a chance to hang out with the bright young things of future journalism this week as Massey University’s journalism students got a crash course in horticulture and agriculture on a field trip through Manawatu and Horowhenua.

HortNZ’s Communications Manager Leigh Catley and Communications Assistant Brian McDonald joined the students on the bus and took the opportunity to school up the students on the issues horticulture has to deal with.  The students then took the chance to interview Leigh and Brian, hitting them with all kinds of questions covering topics like biosecurity, climate change adaptation and job prospects in the primary sector.

The outing is a joint effort between Massey University, HortNZ, Dairy NZ, Beef & Lamb and Rural News, with the goal of encouraging the next generation of journalists to understand what goes on in the primary sector and to not be afraid to get into investigating primary sector issues.

The day began with a trip to Massey’s Hort Centre campus in Palmerston North, where Dr Huub Kerckhoffs and PhD candidate Maria Hashmatt spoke about kiwifruit cultivation and marketing to the eager students. The rest of the day involved trips to farms across the primary industries, and included topics such as alternative livestock feeds, drone technology, and milking practices.

It’s always heartening to see young people taking an interest in the primary industries. HortNZ is always keen to encourage the next generation’s interest in the primary sector, whether it be on the farm or in the newsroom.

There is a lot of going on around enticing young people into the agricultural scene at the moment, with projects like Young Grower of the Year aimed specifically at accomplishing this. Seeing these students taking an interest in farming journalism, and listening to the questions and concerns they have around the industry, is a sign that this is working.

This helps us expand our view of the industry, and plan for the future.


-Mike Chapman, CEO