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New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture
Pastoral Livestock Production (Level 3)

This course will extend your skills and knowledge of domestic and international students above the entry Level 2 qualification. It is a thorough programme which will well-equip any young farmer to succeed in the Agriculture industry. On completion of this course will be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills to work in a partly supervised capacity.


The course runs from February to October (38 weeks) each year and focuses on sheep, beef and dairy farming. There is four weeks recess during this time. Students will attend course Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4pm. Students do work experience at local farms to reinforce the skills they learn. Fridays are set aside for self directed learning with your tutor being available for any assistance required.


The course will cover a variety of topics including:

  • Animal welfare
  • Effluent management
  • Livestock feeding and health
  • Handling and treatment of livestock
  • Fencing, both temporary electric and permanent
  • Fencing knots
  • Legal requirements, safety factors and operation of tractors, motorcycles & ATV's
  • Chainsaw use and safety
  • Pasture production, soils and fertilisers
  • Identification and control of weeds and other pests
  • Milking and milk production
  • Dairy shed design and operation of a farm dairy
  • Cattle handling, mating, calving and calf rearing
  • Wool production and woolshed operations
  • Lambing, mating, docking and lamb rearing


Graduates will receive the National Certificate in Farming Skills (Work Ready) (Level 3) and will have achieved advanced levels of skills and knowledge to enable them to gain employment in a partially supervised capacity, with increased responsibility and enhanced career prospects.

Entry Criteria:

Students must enjoy working in an outdoor environment with animals, be motivated learners and have a keen interest in Agriculture. Students to be 16 years of age and over and have academic and physical capability to successfully complete the course. Applicants should have achieved a minimum of 60 credits at NCEA Level 1. Course fee applies; therefore students may be eligible for a Student Loan and Student Allowance through Studylink.

International Students:

Entry Criteria

Students will meet the following entry requirements:

  • have a real desire to work in the Agriculture industry
  • possess sufficient English language skills
  • are at least 18 years old (international students)

Previous Agriculture experience is considered an important factor in allowing students entry to the course and NTA will actively seek evidence of this. Acceptable evidence may be in the form of:

International students:

  • a written referee statement
  • written employment history
  • letter of endorsement from an organisation or business within the industry

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