Day two of The National Bank Young Farmer Contest Grand Final in Masterton saw the seven Contestants pushed to their physical limits as they raced against the clock and each other during the Practical Day.
The seven Grand Finalists have been preparing for this day since they won their respective Regional Finals earlier this year. The Grand Finalists are: Shane Munford from Northern, Tim van de Molen from Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Mike Croad from East Coast, Cam Brown from Taranaki/Manawatu, Cole Groves from Tasman, Will Grayling from Aorangi and Hayden Peter from Otago/Southland.
The Practical Day was held at the Solway A&P Showgrounds and is made up of two Challenges; Ravensdown Agri-skills and Isuzu Agri-sports.
Throughout the day the Contestants had 40 minutes to complete seven different modules including sheep handling (locate and measure eye muscle mass of 10 stud rams), Engineering (use a range of workshop skills to make a 10ft long steel gate with hinges), Meat Processing (identify 25 meat cuts and 10 offal cuts then break down a sheep carcass to show five of those cuts), Cropping (calibrate seed drill and sprayer, measure dry matter yield of oats in the field and moisture contest of the barley grain), Fencing (fit a stay and stay block and construct a Taranaki gate), Dairy (identify milking plant components, correctly handle stock to check hoof condition and stock judge four dairy cows) and finally Forestry (cut logs to length then stack with a digger and measure volume of logs in the stack). The winner of the Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenge will take away $14,000 worth of quality Ravensdown products.
During the day the Contestants also came together for two Isuzu Head to Head Challenges; the first Challenge was to create a gourmet sandwich using the local products supplied. The second was to construct a wheel barrow and then build a block wall.
The big one though was the Isuzu Agri-sports in the afternoon. Thousands of spectators lined the Agri-sports arena where the Grand Finalists raced against each other to complete all sorts of agricultural tasks. During the Challenge Contestants showed off their forestry skills, set up a water trough, demonstrated quad bike safety, assembled and smoked a beehive, strained a fencing wire, stacked three bales of hay with a front end loader, tasted wine, planted two poplar poles, installed a battery in a ute and then balanced it on top of two half posts, bagged some potatoes, wound up a smartfence and raised The National Bank flag to finish the course; a lot to do in just 40 minutes.
Aorangi’s Will Grayling was first across the finish line, but as points are also given for completing tasks correctly, it won’t be until tonight’s Televised Grand Final Evening Show at the Wairarapa College Auditorium that the winner of the Isuzu Agri-sports Challenge will be announced. That Contestant will receive 12 month’s complimentary use of an Isuzu D-Max ute valued at $15,000.
The overall winner of the Contest will take away a generous prize pack valued at $62,000 that includes prizes from Isuzu, Honda, The National Bank, Ravensdown, Echo, Lincoln University, AGMARDT and Swanndri. The rest of the Contestants will receive benefits to the value of $4700 from Echo, Swanndri, Honda and The National Bank
Also taking place at the Solway A&P Showgrounds was the AgriKidNZ Grand Final. First place went to Benjamin Cook, David Olsen and Zoe Cook who are also known as the Future Farmers that represent the Northern Region. Second place went to South Makirikiri One from the Taranaki/Manawatu Region and was made up of Jack Pilet, Josh Pilit and Olivia Smallbone. Lauren Collyns, Grace White and Luke Parker came in third; they’re the MISiles from Masterton Intermediate.
The TeenAg Grand Final also saw some future Contestants showing off their stuff. The Otago/Southland Region did well with Team Waikaka made up of Robert Gregory and James Gardyne taking out first place, and it was a bit of a family affair with Allan Gregory and Richard Gardyne (also known as the DK boys from Gore) coming in second. Representing the East Coast, Cameron Hassell and Nathan Gunson from Stortford Lodge placed third.
The New Zealand Young Farmers also had their annual inter-region Tug-o-War; Waikato/Bay of Plenty out-muscled the rest and took out the win.
For more information on The National Bank Young Farmer Contest, AgriKidsNZ, TeenAg or NZYF: