Teenagers from all walks of life, from all over New Zealand, are being encouraged to enter the TeenAg Competition as the nationwide competition enters its second year. Nearly 300 students competed at Regional Finals all over New Zealand in 2011 and the Competition is set to get even bigger in 2012.
The TeenAg Competition is a programme run by New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) and is based on The National Bank Young Farmer Contest. Students compete in teams of two to complete a diverse range of fun and educational modules that are based on real life scenarios.
NZYF Business Development Manager Roz Lever says; “the modules are designed to not only test their existing knowledge in a competitive format; they also teach the students about a diverse range of agricultural practices and the associated career opportunities.”
The top seven teams then progress through to an exciting Race-off where they race against each other to complete a series of tasks in an agriculturally themed obstacle course.
“The Competition really does cater to everyone; from a teenager that has grown up on a sheep farm right through to someone who’s barely stepped foot on a farm before. Some will enter because they have their eye on Grand Final whereas others enter to have fun with their friends and because they love the rural way of life;” says Ms Lever
The first Regional Final takes place in Balclutha on February 12th alongside the Otago/Southland Regional Final for The National Bank Young Farmer Contest and the AgriKidsNZ Competition. Competitors don’t need to belong to a TeenAg Club to enter the Competition and entry is free.
TeenAg Clubs are also set to surge forward in 2012. The Clubs rolled out nationwide in 2011 and at year end there were 349 Members and over 20 Clubs situated in High Schools around the country and there’s already interest to start up several more.
TeenAg Clubs are the step before becoming a fully-fledged NZYF member. Ms Lever says that there are great leadership and personal development opportunities within TeenAg; “members are given the responsibility to run professional meetings, become an office holder in their Club and also to organise events and social activities that reflect their interest in agriculture.”
“Leading into that next stage of their lives; it can be a great point of interest on a student’s CV that they were chairman of their TeenAg Club or organised a charitable event.”
Ms Lever says that TeenAg Members don’t need to be off a farm or even have a rural background; they just need to have a love of the land and an interest in agriculture.