Year 12 student Fatima Imran spoke about her career goals in the primary sector at a future leaders' seminar held as part of the Central Districts Field Days in Palmerston North on Thursday, 16 March.
Fatima is in the first class of AgriBusiness students at MAGS, launched this year for Year 12 students who excel at Science and Commerce. It will be extended to Level 13 from 2018.
She was the only secondary student invited to speak to about 100 business people and politicians about what might encourage young people to study for careers in AgriBusiness.
"Right now not a lot of students - especially girls - see this as a possible pathway and I want to change that," said Fatima.
"My challenge to the future leaders of the industry is to show students that careers in agriculture don't have to involve working on farms - they can be in business, science, technology or marketing."
Fatima believes New Zealand should focus on what we are already good at - agriculture - and make it better. "We should build on our agricultural reputation and become known for the best quality food in the world," she said.
Imran visited Massey University to discuss courses she might take and the scholarships on offer. She is currently planning to do a conjoint Science and Business degree with a view to working for a company involved in AgriBusiness, or in the trade sector.