The headmaster of a school that has been gifted $150 million worth of farmland says it will help more youngsters to get hands-on experience in the food and fibre sector.
ASB has gifted the 8.1ha of farmland to Mount Albert Grammar School, who has leased the land since its purchase in 1933.
The farm has ewes, lambs, chickens, dairy cows, calves, a woolshed and sheep pens, as well as a veggie garden and kiwifruit crops.
Mount Albert Grammar School headmaster Patrick Drumm said about 200 students take agri-business courses each year, earning NCEA Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 credits.
"It gives the students a good variation across different management styles of different stock and animals and gives them first-hand experience in milking and shearing and all of things that go along with managing farm stock," Drumm said.
"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 agri-food and fibre sector," he said.
"Our students benefit greatly from this education, and it will be enjoyed by generations to come."
Some students had entered the agriculture and horticulture career paths after getting a taste of the work on the school farm, Drumm said.
ASB chief executive Vittoria Shortt said she was delighted to be gifting the land to the school because it would expose more youngsters to the food and fibre sector.
"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," Shortt said.
"We know our young people care deeply about sustainability and this next generation will be critical players as the industry innovates and adapts to meet the challenges and opportunities of climate change and evolving consumer preferences."