An Agstaff and Federated Farmers skilled worker and volunteer initiative is on the lookout for more rural-trained workers in the Kaikoura region.
What started out as a project to help earthquake damaged farms took a step backwards after recent weather events when two cyclonic systems passed through.
Agstaff Supervisor for the Blenheim/Clarence area, Vaughan Beazer, said progress had been going well until the recent weather, which made existing damage worse and caused landslides and flooding. More skilled workers are now required to assist with the recovery work.
“The initiative has been well received by local farmers and they’ve been impressed, not only with the high level of workmanship, but the sheer dedication of skilled workers and volunteers.
“Complete strangers from all over the country have banded together to get farms up and running again.”
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Established earlier this year, and partially funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), the project matches the requirements of earthquake-damaged farms with the best skilled workers to complete repair work. Over the last 10 weeks Agstaff had provided over 50 skilled workers and volunteers to 47 farms and organised more than 6000 labour hours.
Agstaff are now looking for skilled workers for more technical jobs like fencing, dairying and water reticulation. Fencing staff especially are in short supply, Beazer said.
“The most rewarding thing for me, and the people I place, is a huge amount of satisfaction from seeing the weight being lifted from a farmer’s shoulders and leaving them with a beaming smile and a lot less to worry about.”
Farmers, volunteers and skilled workers can call 0800 FARMERS (327 646) or visit www.agstaff.co.nz