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TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ lead the way at Grand Final

Thursday 31 May 2012, 12:54PM

By NZ Young Farmers

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Tokonui Redbands (L to R) AgriKidsNZ Grand Final Champions Jessica Dermody, Lachlan Crosbie and Prue Buckingham.
Tokonui Redbands (L to R) AgriKidsNZ Grand Final Champions Jessica Dermody, Lachlan Crosbie and Prue Buckingham. Credit: NZ Young Farmers
Monteath and Brooker (L to R) TeenAg Grand Final Champions Tom Monteath and Danny Brooker.
Monteath and Brooker (L to R) TeenAg Grand Final Champions Tom Monteath and Danny Brooker. Credit: NZ Young Farmers

DUNEDIN

The TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ Grand Finals were held at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Friday 25th May. The stage was set for a fantastic day where hundreds of people came out to watch our future farmers competing.

The top three teams from each Regional Final travelled to Dunedin to test their skills against the best in their age group from around the country. All 43 competing teams fundraised and some even sourced sponsorship to make the trip possible.

TeenAg (13-18) and AgriKidsNZ (8-13) teams competed in a series of preliminary modules each vying for a spot in their respective Race Off; which emulates the Agrisports module in The National Bank Young Farmer Contest.  Preliminary modules were age appropriate and included Animal Welfare, Butchery, Seed to Feed, Horticulture, Dairy, Construction and First Aid.

A major point of difference between this years TeenAg Grand Final and last years was the inclusion of a written exam. Competitors were required to sit a 50 minute exam which counted for 30% of their overall score.  The exam was broken into four sections; Breeding Value, General Knowledge, Financial Knowledge and True and False questions. The exam was put together by ex Grand Finalist Aidan Gent with Tim Cookson, past Contest Chairman, overseeing the module on the day.

The top seven teams in the TeenAg preliminaries went on to compete in the Race Off event.  In teams of two competitors had to pump up the tyre of a bike and fit it to the bike, construct a layer of a compost bin, identify different flavoured juice, assemble a planter box, pitch a tent, fit a horn to their bike and give toot to finish. The first team across the line was Christchurch Boys’ High School’s Danny Brooker (16) and Tom Monteath (16).

Danny and Tom took out the Grand Final title as TeenAg overall winners for 2012. The boys were pleased with the result saying; “all the hard work paid off”. They also enjoyed the more competitive nature of the Grand Final compared to the Regional Final; “Grand Final is a lot more competitive, the quality of the event is a step up from Regionals”.  These two future farmers indicated they will be back to defend their title in 2013 “we’re not too sure if we’ll win again, we’ll give it a shot though”.  Otago/Southland’s Richard Gardyne and Robert Gregory from Gore High School placed second and third place went to Christchurch Boys’ High School’s Tom Gore and Roy McKenzie.

For their efforts Danny and Tom each received a prize pack including a $200 bank account donated by The National Bank, a NZ Advanced Driver Training Voucher, bush jacket donated by Swanndri, $100 CRT voucher and a $100 Farmlands voucher.

In the AgriKidsNZ Race Off teams of three had to use jak mats to get their whole team from point A to B without touching the ground, assemble a wooden photo frame and have their picture taken, decorate a pavlova, identify different juice flavours and fit the front tyre to a bike. The first team to finish the race was the Tokonui Redbands from Tokonui Primary School - Prue Buckingham (11), Jessica Dermody (13) and Lachlan Crosbie (12).

The Tokonui Redbands also took home the title of AgriKidsNZ Grand Final Champions for 2012.  They said the best thing about the day was “it was heaps of fun and a cool experience”. To prepare for the event the kids each hosted a practice day at their farm as they come from different farming backgrounds.   Overall runner up was Aorangi’s Sheep, Beef and Dairy team - Emily O’Reilly, Hamish Scannell and Elizabeth Hampton and in third place was Kamo Intermediate’s Issac Osbaldiston, William Bliss and Mercury Nisbet representing Northern.

Each member of the winning team walked away with a bundle of prizes including: a $100 bank account donated by National Bank, a bush jacket donated by Swanndri, a $50 CRT voucher and a $50 Farmlands voucher.

Youth Development Manger Rosie Todhunter said she was really pleased with how the Grand Final event ran. “We are so lucky to have so many volunteers and helpers who made the event hugely successful”.