Breaking Ground at MAGS Farm
Last Friday marked the turning of the first sod for the ASB MAGS Farm Experience Centre – the beginning of a new journey to further educate NZ high school students and inspire careers in the agriculture industry.
The ASB MAGS farm has a long history, and for 80 years has taught students the fundamentals of farming. In 2012, ASB signed a new 99-year lease for the land, which is gifted to Mount Albert Grammar School for $1 per year. The new Experience Centre is the next addition to this unique asset in the centre of Auckland, and will include a working farm, latest agri tech, hydroponics, a vineyard, market gardens and horticulture facilities.
ASB General Manager Rural, Richard Hegan, says the new development is a “critical part of closing the urban-rural divide.” The Government has identified a skills gap of around 50,000 people needed in the agri-food industry by 2025, and this centre will go a long way to helping encourage young people to pursue agriculture careers.
The Hon. Nathan Guy added his support for the project as a “wonderful opportunity to educate NZers about the primary sector, and a place to bring international delegates and tourists.”
Mr Guy spoke about the primary sector being an important part of the NZ economy and the challenges the sector faces to encourage another 50,000 people into it.
A game changer for the rural industry, the centre at MAGs will showcase the entire supply chain, and showcase how NZ can feed 40 million people and export to 150 different countries around the world. So far, there has been enough money raised for the design and engineering costs – the turning of the sod represents the start of the building process.
When built, MAGS expects this centre to help increase current agriculture student levels from around 160 per year to 500, as well as receive up to three busses of kids from other schools each day to visit the farm.
ASB is proud to be a foundation partner of the ASB MAGS Farm.
Learn more about ASB MAGS Farm
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