A North Island cadet training farm is entering a formal partnership with the South Island's Lincoln University, with the aim of producing the "very best future farmers".
The farm, Smedley Station, is a 5000 hectare, 30,000 stock unit farm in central Hawke's Bay. It offers two-year training courses for 22 cadets.
Charles Lamb, from Lincoln University's Telford division, says the partnership will allow Smedley Station cadets to complete Lincoln qualifications and gain a robust understanding of agriculture.
He says farming is becoming more complex in terms of ecology, animal welfare and health and nutrition.
"The days of the traditional farmer doing it by the seat of his pants are moving on. 2040 is going to be the big time horizon that we're facing in terms of food security, so farmers that are coming through today are going through a much more professional training regime."
Mr Lamb says the partnership will also improve the delivery of education in the primary sector, with more hands on, practical training.
"Farmers aren't happy with the type of training that students are getting and want to see change and want to see a more relevant forward looking qualification."
He says more of these types of arrangements are likely in the future.