Will Grayling has been named the 2011 National Bank Young Farmer Contest Champion for 2011. No doubt he’ll have country kids from all over New Zealand aspiring to be like him one day. For some of those children; their journey has already started.
The AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Grand Finals were also held alongside the Contest during the Practical Day in Masterton last week.
The TeenAg Competition at the Solway A&P Showgrounds was taken out by two teenagers who had travelled from the bottom of the South. James Gardyne (17) and Robert Gregory (16) from St Peter’s College in Gore took out the top spot. Known as Team Waikaka, the boys were surprised but “pretty happy” with the win after they thought they had done badly in the initial preliminaries.
“We put a wee bit of preparation in before we came – but the preliminaries had changed quite a bit so we hadn’t prepped for the right things” said Robert.
James said they struggled with the equestrian module and admitted putting the cover on wrong – but they still enjoyed the modules as it had taught them new skills such as first aid and how to deal with agricultural chemicals.
Both boys come from a farming background and entered the Competition as they both hope to be Young Farmer Contestants one day and because they had set up a TeenAg Club at their school.
Robert also said he had another motive for entering: “I wanted to beat my brother.”
He did just that, beating Allan Gregory and Richard Gardyne known as the DK Boys in the Teen Ag race-off. Finishing in third place was Cameron Hassell and Nathan Gunson from Lindisfarne College, their team was called Stortford Lodge after their TeenAg Club.
The AgriKidsNZ final went to a team from the North. The Future Farmers from Helensville were first across the line in the AgriKids race-off, leaving 10 year old Zoe Cook, 12 year old Benjamin Cook and David Olsen also 12, grinning from ear to ear.
David said he “couldn’t believe it” when they won; in fact all three we surprised considering none of the teams mates were off farms, but did have some knowledge from spending time on friend’s farms.
David said they hadn’t put in much preparation since their Regional Final in late February, with Benjamin putting their win down to “prior knowledge and teamwork.”
Zoe said she had entered for fun after Benjamin decided to put a team together because all three wanted to learn more about agriculture.
Runner-up in the AgriKidsNZ Competition was 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 were known as the MISiles from Masterton Intermediate.
The TeenAg and AgriKids winners were presented with prizes from a total prize pool of $3000 in front of a full grand stand of supporters on Friday. The prize pool included Tectra, Farmlands, AgITO, Taratahi and Telford vouchers, farming board game “Grit”, a “Day with your Regional Finalist” experience and merchandise from NZYF, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Dairy NZ and more.
On Saturday the TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ Grand Finalists were treated to a fun day at Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre where they got to have a tour of Taratahi, learnt how to use stockwhips and competed for prizes during a Contest-inspired quiz. The highlight for the Competitors however was meeting the Seven Grand Finalists from The National Bank Young Farmer Contest who spent a couple of hours imparting some wisdom on the students.