A new Dairy Academy has officially been opened to help create New Zealand's next generation of dairy farmers.
Nine students have enrolled in the one-year training programme at the Ariki Dairy Unit in the Wairakei District near Taupo.
The programme is a joint venture between Shanghai Pengxin Group (SPG) and Landcorp Farming Limited.
Students will live in housing on nearby Landcorp or Shanghai Pengxin farms and combine classroom study provided by Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre with practical application of learning on the Ariki dairy farm.
Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden said the new training facility will contribute to the development of future dairy farm leaders in New Zealand.
"Landcorp is committed to the development of young talent in New Zealand's agriculture sector and the Dairy Academy will sit beside Landcorp's other investments in training programmes across the country."
The programme is fully funded by the Shanghai Pengxin/Landcorp joint venture so will be free for all participating students, he said.
Students will also be encouraged to gain casual employment with Landcorp on its nearby dairy farms, primarily in study breaks.
The programme has been designed to provide mid-level leadership development for ambitious people who already have some level of technical skill or knowledge of dairying, said Mr Carden.
Selected students may also gain employment as herd manager/dairy production managers on Landcorp or Shanghai Pengxin dairy farms after completion of the programme.