In an extraordinarily generous gift in our Centenary Year, the ASB handed the ASB MAGS Farm to our school on September 30.
Previously leased from the ASB for a peppercorn rental of $1 a year, the 8.1ha working farm (with an estimated value of $150 million) was established in 1932 and features horticulture, a variety of livestock, and a classroom centre educating students in Agricultural and Horticultural Science.
A special ceremony to mark the handover was held in the MH Building, overlooking the farm, with guests welcomed with karakia and waiata from Matua Peter Walters and Whaea Waimirirangi Paul along with Te Puna o Wairaka students.
At the ceremony, ASB CEO Vittoria Shortt presented Headmaster Mr Drumm with a framed certificate of title for the farm in recognition of the handover.
Ms Shortt said, We’re delighted to be gifting ownership of ASB MAGS Farm to the MAGS Foundation, ensuring that students will continue to benefit from this special learning environment for generations to come.
“Food and fibre production is the backbone of New Zealand’s economy, and the farm plays a really important role in attracting young urban talent into these industries.”
Mr Drumm said, “ASB MAGS Farm has a 90-year heritage and we’re excited to continue its legacy.
“ASB’s gift of this land will allow us to continue future-proofing the facilities and further diversifying the farm, and we have ambitious plans for the renovation of existing buildings and the construction of an experience centre to showcase opportunities in the AgriFood and Fibre sector.
“Our students benefit greatly from this education, and it will be enjoyed by generations to come.”
MAGS Foundation Chair Peter Thorp said the ASB had been a great partner for the farm, and he hoped that would continue into the future as plans for the experience centre took shape.
Guest speaker at the handover ceremony was Albertian Fatima Imran, who is in her final year of an AgriCommerce degree at Massey University. She was initially attracted to the farm by the thought of looking after sheep and driving a tractor.
But she soon found out there was a whole lot more to the AgriFood and Fibre sector, and working and learning on the farm inspired her to pursue a career in AgriCommerce.
You can learn more about the ASB MAGS Farm here