About Us

AGC Training For Industry – for Real World Experience with Practical Hands-on Training

Ag Challenge Ltd – trading as AGC Training For Industry from 2021- is a registered New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) accredited training provider, offering real world experience with practical hands-on training in the fields of Agriculture, Animal Care and Technology, and Carpentry.

The practical experience is gained on two dairy farms milking 1200 cows, a building site where students build a complete relocatable classroom.

Ag Challenge was born over 30 years ago out of a relationship between Stephen Gudsell, property owner, with the then Department of Social Welfare to take small groups of clients and teach them basic dairying skills on his farm in Okoia, Wanganui East. Many of the clients were later able to find jobs in the dairy industry.

This led to the formation of Ag Challenge Limited and accreditation with NZQA in 1996. This allowed the formalisation of the education and training programmes and coincided with a strong demand from industry sectors for employees with formal qualifications in their field.

AGC Training currently offers training from Level 3 to Level 5 in Agriculture, Animal Care and Carpentry.


The Agriculture programmes now offer the opportunity to choose the species you learn about. We don’t just do dairy! Students can now study sheep and beef. NZQA’s Targeted Review of Qualifications involved industry in designing these new qualifications and now sees AGC Training delivering the latest and best focused agricultural programmes.

Animal Care and Technology

AGC Training’s Whanganui classroom has rabbits, guinea pigs, and a cat. It is based in the country so is a peaceful place to learn. Our rural animal technicians in training are able to participate in activities that occur on the dairy farm.

Animal Care and Technology programmes focus on the care, and health and wellbeing of companion animals like cats and dogs, all the way through to large animals such as horses.

Building, Construction and Allied Trades

AGC Training continues to work with industry to deliver work ready graduates. Many of our graduates gain apprenticeships with local builders after being placed on work experience with them.


AGC Training offers one to two day programmes for secondary school students who are still at school giving them not only the opportunity to gain NCEA credits but also invaluable life experiences working on a farm or a building site.

Gateway Distance Learning is also available where schools or individuals can purchase NZQA unit standards and study at their own pace.

Education To Employment

Our Education to Employment programme aims to help school students find their pathway from education to employment, or training. We work with regional secondary schools to promote vocational pathways to Year 9 to 13 students, and strengthen the relationship between schools, businesses and industry, future employers and their future employees.

Sponsorship and our Community

AGC Training is active in sponsoring community-based initiatives, mainly in the sporting field, especially those associated with young people, such as the Under 13 rep tennis, U16 Wanganui rugby and school sports teams like rugby.

Mr Gudsell, owner and director, is also a keen horse racing man and for over ten years has been sponsoring one of the ‘listed’ races on the National Racing Calendar at the Whanganui Races each Queen’s Birthday weekend, under the name of the AGC Training for Industry Stakes.

“It’s part of our philosophy and a way of paying back a community that has supported us over the years,” says Mr Gudsell. He is also a great believer in supporting local, so AGC Training always buy local where they can.

The AGC Training for Industry Culture

AGC Training has around 20 staff with 12 tutors, who all have real world experience and are either working or have worked in their fields. They are all committed to giving all students a chance no matter what their backgrounds are, or their abilities might be.

The organisation goes out of its way to provide students with every chance to succeed. They are able to host students from across New Zealand through working with their partners and relationships to provide either private board or hostel student living locally.

All their programmes are New Zealand Qualifications Authority approved and qualify for assistance from Studylink.

NZQA EER Category and Statements of Confidence

AGC Training is Category 3

NZQA External Evaluation and Review Report

Contact Ag Challenge on 0800 348 8215.

Talk to us to find out more.

We can meet you and your young person and talk through the options.

We’re happy for him or her to spend an afternoon and up to a few days out on one of our courses to make sure it’s the right choice for everyone.

No obligation, it’s our pleasure!

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