Leander Archer

Leander Archer

Horticultural Consultant, AgFirst

In a nutshell: I use plant science and technology to provide practical advice for orchardists.

Why? "I love the mix of indoor and outdoor work and living in the best climates in New Zealand."

Pathway: Tawa College, final year subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Statistics, PE
Massey University - Palmerston North: Bachelor of Agricultural Science, majoring in Horticulture

Earning: $45-50,000

My favourite subjects at school were Biology, Geography and Statistics and these subjects all relate to what I do now. Statistics is particularly under-rated – we have research projects every year that require a lot of statistics knowledge.

I am passionate about fresh food, especially fruit. I wanted to tie that passion in with my favorite subjects and found the degree at Massey University was the perfect fit, especially as I have always wanted to learn business and economics too.

The horticultural industry needs people like me, and a lot of money is put towards encouraging more students to study horticulture. I received seven scholarships while at university, totaling $20,000 towards my degree.

Work experience was a critical part of my degree. I worked during the summers on an apple orchard in Nelson, and at Plant & Food Research in Hawke's Bay.

Most of my work aims to give growers the knowledge and tools to help them produce food in an economically and environmentally productive way far into the future.

My job would suit someone with a thirst for knowledge. It is important to keep learning and have an open mind, so that even when you're the expert you understand that there are people out there who know more than you.

I could specialise in other horticultural areas, such as plant growth patterns and nutrition, finance and strategy planning, orchard management and environmental management, or I could move sideways into pure plant science, GIS mapping or statistics.

Posted September 2016

Follow this pathway:

Degree in Agricultural, Forestry or Horticultural Science

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Futureintech is an initiative of Engineering New Zealand, funded by Callaghan Innovation

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