Feilding Agricultural High School too hard to beat at FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year contest

Posted by on 23 February 2020 | Comments

Feilding Agricultural High School has made a clean sweep at the Taranaki Manawatu FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year contest.

First place, second place and third place all went to teams of two from Feilding Agricultural High School (FAHS).

The contest for high school students in Teen Ag Clubs was held at the TSB Hub in Hawera on Saturday, running alongside the Taranaki Manawatu FMG Young Farmer of the Year (FMG YFOTY) Regional Finals.

Phoebe Smailes, 17, and Anna Simpson, 17, took out the title for Taranaki Manawatu FMG Junior Young Farmers of the Year, for the second year in a row.

Phoebe was also awarded Competitor of the Day and said it was a privilege.

“There was a lot of other good kids here, we all have our strengths and we’re all good at what we do. We’re all obviously here because we love it and just to be chosen as that Competitor of the Day is pretty cool,” Phoebe said.  

‘Frank Fertilisers’ made up by Renee Biggs and Holly Gregory from FAHS came in second place.

Both teams have been invited to compete at the Grand Final in Christchurch in July which runs alongside the FMG YFOTY Grand Final.

For Phoebe and Anna, it will be their second Grand Final, after coming 9th in the country in 2019.

“We know what to prepare for this time, we’re not rookies now, it’s not our first rodeo,” Phoebe said.

The pair were proud of themselves and both said a module identifying different cuts of meat and bones was the hardest.

“If you gave me a piece of meat I’d be able to tell you what it was but identifying them on the carcass was really, really hard,” Phoebe said.

Anna said their strength was working as a team which they will utilise as they prepare for Grand Final.

“We’ll brush up on general knowledge, definitely do some more practical stuff on the farm in the weekends and keep an eye on what’s happening in the news and keep up to date,” Anna said.

The pair both plan to study a Bachelor of AgriCommerce after finishing High School.

Anna wants to head to Massey University and Phoebe wants to go to Lincoln University.

For the contest, the pairs tackled eight theoretical and practical modules hosted by sponsors before the top five teams went into “the face off” – a famous YFOTY buzzer styled quiz.

Modules in the past have included animal anatomy, fencing, meat cut I.D, gun safety, equine, agronomy, feed budgeting, chainsaw assembly and more.

Teen Ag Clubs aim to introduce teenagers to the agriculture, food and fibre sector – from farming and growing, to fishing and horticulture and everything else in between.

FAHS Spuds - Oliver Boerjan and Lachie Crafar came in third place for FMG JR YFOTY.

The AgriKids competition for primary school aged children also ran alongside the teenage and senior contests.

Competing in teams of three, AgriKids completed a series of modules hosted by sponsors.

First place was awarded to Carncot Green – Gabby Cavan, Phoebe Driscole and Sophia Pinkney from Carncot Independent School in Palmerston North.

Second place went to a trio from South Makariri School near Marton –Mak Trappers – Fono Bason, Jaxon Melville and Jonty Skerman.

Fono Bason was also awarded AgriKids Competitor of the Day.

Mount Biggs Blue from Mount Biggs School Feilding came in third, made up by Benn Edert, Cooper Keighley and Leo Webb.

The top three teams have been invited to the Grand Final in Christchurch in July where they will compete against 21 other teams from across the country.

From there the top seven teams went head to head in “The Race Off”, undertaking a sequence of tasks in a time and points challenge.

Gumboot throwing, fencing, driving go-karts, sack racing and fitting chains on motorbikes are just some of the practical activities the teams have had to tackle in previous years.

Theoretical modules surrounding livestock breeding and genetics, farm safety and healthy soil have also been challenges for children to wrap their brains around. 

The event was sponsored by FMG, Ravensdown, Honda, WorkSafe, PTS, STIHL, Lincoln University, Massey University, Southfuels/Northfuels, Betacraft and New Holland. 

FMG JR YFOTY FULL RESULTS

1st - Hectares and Hiluxes, Phoebe Smailes and Anna Simpson - FAHS

2nd - Frank Fertilisers, Renee Biggs and Holly Gregory - FAHS

3rd - FAHS Spuds, Oliver Boerjan and Lachie Crafar – FAHS

FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Competitor of the Day – Phoebe Smailes

AGRIKIDS FULL RESULTS

1st - Carncot Green – Gabby Cavan, Phoebe Driscole and Sophia Pinkney, Carncot Independent School

2nd - Mak Trappers – Fono Bason, Jaxon Melville and Jonty Skerman, South Makariri School

3rd - Mount Biggs Blue, Benn Edert, Cooper Keighley and Leo Webb, Mount Biggs School

AgriKids Competitor of the Day – Fono Bason