Future Food Network

A New Zealand Young Farmers networking programme for students in tertiary education and training

Programme purpose

Future Food Network (FFN) helps leading tertiary students to establish networks with members of the red meat supply chain while the students are still studying. The overall objective is to increase the number of motivated and high-achieving graduates entering the industry.

Industry people involved in the network include farmers, suppliers to the red meat sector, stock managers, fertilizer company sales and technical staff, national and international meat processing, marketing and retail staff, international trade envoys and members of industry organisations.  

Who is it for and how does it work?

The programme is managed New Zealand-wide by New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) and is funded by RMPP.

Future Food Network is for high-achieving students who are in tertiary education (not just universities) and who have indicated an interest in working in part of the red meat supply chain. A selection process is based upon demonstrated ability and enthusiasm for the red meat industry. Students are required to sign in at each session.

The programme began in early 2015 at Waikato and Lincoln Universities and is now also delivered at at Otago University, Taratahi Institute of Agriculture (including Telford), Massey University and Auckland University.

Want to know more?

Contact Elise Cassidy on
027 213 0033 or email below.

Spaces are limited, apply now!

Programme delivery

The Future Food Network programme comprises six sessions per year at each site during term time. Each session runs for approximately two and a half hours after lectures are ended for the day. 

The session includes the guest speaker presentation, time for refreshments and networking, small group discussions and report back, and wider facilitated discussion on the main take-home points. Often new material emerges. Students will commonly stay on after the formal session has ended to talk one-on-one with the presenter.

The tone of the sessions is supportive and encouraging. Food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available at the start of the evening and during the break.

Speakers are selected from different parts of the red meat supply chain and there is a strong emphasis on choosing speakers from a range of age groups, including very recent graduates.

A student is selected to introduce the speaker to the group, chair the first part of the session and  thank the speaker. Chairs are given guidelines on how to chair a session of this type. The purpose of this is to give at least some of the students some experience at talking in front of a group of peers and giving them a structured approach to the chairing process. The facilitator meets with the chairs before each session to outline the process.