Otago University is adding a degree course in Agricultural Innovation.

Otago University already plays a significant role in agricultural research and is now expanding its footprint in the agricultural world with two innovations focusing on training and education.

  • The introduction of a new degree course starting in 2020 in Agricultural Innovation
  • A Symposium on Innovation in Agriculture on 8 and 9 December 2019 in Dunedin, which will, in part, herald the exciting new Agricultural Innovation degree.

Disruption is coming for the modern food producer in potentially overwhelming waves while at the same time bringing with it new ways of producing and marketing food. These changes will challenge the traditional farming career path requiring greater emphasis on:

  • the use of technology in all aspects of food production
  • a greater role for research and science in agriculture to help solve the problems farmers face using an evidence-based approach
  • genetic improvement of both animals and plants
  • enhancing the health of our soil and retaining it on the land, preventing soil, chemicals and pathogens getting into our waterways
  • improving the environment for the sake of biodiversity and future generations
  • producing high-value food for niche markets
  • getting to know the end customer better with market research taking center stage
  • combining an out-door lifestyle with a bit more office time than was traditionally the case, for sure.

Innovation to survive and to thrive

The approach Otago is taking is a clever one. They are not competing with the traditional career paths provided by the established agricultural schools of Massey and Lincoln, instead they are providing an applied science degree focusing on future-proofing the food producing industry in New Zealand. They are focusing on all aspects of innovation in agriculture.

This is surely something that will appeal to today's well-educated young person looking for a career in agriculture with a totally modern up-side-down way of thinking.

To learn about the new applied science degree in agricultural innovation starting in 2020 go to the University of Otago's website here.

To learn more about the symposium Otago University is hosting on 8 and 9 December 2019 in Dunedin, New Zealand Agriculture 2050 - Pathways of Innovation, see here.

To read an excellent interview with Emeritus Professor Frank Griffin from the Otago Daily Times, 27 July 2019, on his vision for the future of New Zealand agriculture, see here.

Keep asking great questions ...