Enterprising Primary Industries Careers challenge

The Enterprising Primary Industries Careers (EPIC) challenge introduces high school students to the exciting range of careers in the primary industries.

About the EPIC challenge

The EPIC challenge is a competition managed by the Young Enterprise Trust and sponsored by MPI and DairyNZ. The aim of the challenge is to raise awareness of the exciting range of careers in our primary industries, such as:

  • farmers and farm managers
  • engineers and scientists
  • environmental planners and resource managers
  • product developers
  • trade officials and marketing consultants.

Find more job ideas on the:

2016 EPIC challenge winners

Four Year 10 Northland students from Huanui College were announced as national winners of the EPIC Challenge on 23 November 2016.

Harriette Baxter, Sinead Hallberg, Jordan Carswell and Callum McKay were announced as the winning team by the Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries. Their entry 'Dairy Ain’t Airy Fairy' focused on promoting careers across the dairy industry.

The winners’ innovative marketing strategy includes matching personality types to jobs in the primary industries, using social media to raise teenager awareness of roles available in primary industries, and rolling out a poster campaign in New Zealand secondary schools.

The full list of 2016 winners is:

Dairy NZ Innovation Award

  • Winner: Dairy Ain’t Airy Fairy, Huanui College
  • Highly Commended: Sharemilking Team, Aotea College

MPI Future Focus Award

  • Winner: Careers Expo, Mount Albert Grammar School
  • Highly Commended: Get Stuck in the Ocean, Huanui College

National Champions

  • Winner: Dairy Ain’t Airy Fairy, Huanui College

2015 EPIC challenge winners

The winning entry was announced on 10 December 2015. Congratulations to students from Palmerston North Girls' High School. Their entry included posters with information on becoming a beef manager, dairy farmer and beekeeper, and a promotional video. The students were presented with their award by Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy.

2014 winners

The winning entry was by 3 students from Huanui College in Whangārei. Their video, Bee in the Scene, highlights the importance of the bee industry to New Zealand and the range of careers available – from beekeeping through to microbiology and horticulture.

Why the primary industries need more people

The EPIC challenge was launched in May 2014 as part of a range of initiatives to attract talented young people to work in the primary industries.

Qualifications are needed across a range of disciplines to ensure we have more diverse and highly skilled technologically savvy people in the primary industries.  

The higher level of skill and increased diversity will allow New Zealand to increase its sustainable production, better protect and manage our resources, and deliver a great range of high-value products to national and international markets.

Ensuring that young people develop an understanding of the importance and changing nature of the primary industries in New Zealand, and view careers in the primary industries as an exciting option for them, is going to be an important part of meeting these future skill needs.

Find out more

Other ways we're helping recruitment efforts

Growing our future – primary industry champions

MPI has developed a series of videos featuring a range of people who work in the primary industries. The videos cover what they do, what opportunities they see in the primary industries, and how they got into their current role.

MPI Graduate Programme

MPI runs an annual learning and development programme for eligible university graduates. The 18-month work rotation exposes participants to the diverse work that MPI does in the primary industry sector.


GrowingNZ brings together government, industry and education providers to look at how we can upskill and attract more people to the primary industries. GrowingNZ is involved in a number of initiatives to promote primary industries careers.

Who to contact

If you have questions about sponsorships or careers, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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