News » South Island students clean up at TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ national finals in Invercargill
Students from two South Island schools have taken top honours at the national finals of the TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ competitions.
Angus Grant, 16, and Nick O’Connor, 15, from St Bede’s College in Christchurch have won the TeenAg Grand Final in Invercargill.
The event saw 14 teams from across New Zealand clash in wet conditions at Donovan Park.
Competitors had to erect a fence, construct a chicken coop, score deer velvet and analyse breeds of sheep.
“We’re stoked, it’s a big surprise,” said Angus who lives in Christchurch, but runs 160 ewes on neighbours’ lifestyle blocks.
Nick is from a 600-cow dairy farm near Westport and is a boarder at St Bede’s.
“It was quite challenging digging all the post holes and pulling apart the wooden pellets to make the chicken coop,” said Nick.
The win was a proud moment for the pair’s parents who travelled to Southland to watch the TeenAg Grand Final.
“The weather conditions were challenging, but they stuck at it and fought their way through a couple of mistakes. They showed real gumption,” said Peter Grant.
Year 12 Napier Boys’ High School student Matthew Halford was named the TeenAg Competitor of the Year.
The winners were announced in front of a 400-strong crowd at Southland Boys’ High School.
A talented trio from Ashburton Intermediate School won the hotly-contested AgriKidsNZ Grand Final.
Austin Watson, Henry Gray and Tim Connelly-Whyte, who’re named the AIS Fencers, excelled across the competition.
The event saw 21 teams tackle challenges testing their practical and theoretical skills.
Competitors had to assemble a beehive, put together a water trough, sit an exam and cook a pancake with no recipe.
“My favourite was the Honda module where we had to fit tyres onto a quad bike and tighten all the nuts,” said Henry.
“We also had to tension the chain on a two wheeler."
The AIS Fencers picked up awards for their practical skills and for having the best costumes in the grand parade.
Jorja Fountaine from Kumeroa School near Woodville was named the AgriKidsNZ competitor of the Year.
The Year 6 student said the hardest module was the hour-long written exam.
“Even though we were under a lot of pressure we kept calm and if we didn’t know the answer we moved on,” said Jorja.
“In the end it doesn’t really matter where you place, just as long as you give it a go, have fun and enjoy yourself.”
It’s a decade since the first AgriKidsNZ Grand Final was held alongside the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.
“This year we have had more entrants in the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg competitions than ever before,” said NZ Young Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland.
“More than 1,100 students took part in the two competitions at regional finals across the country.”
TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ are a key part of the work being done by NZ Young Farmers to attract students into the agri-food sector.
The Minister for Agriculture Damien O’Connor was one of a number of MPs who attended the awards ceremony.
“You are all inspirational at every level. You have gone out of your way to push through the boundaries and learn more,” he told the students.
TeenAg Grand Final
1st place: Angus Grant and Nick O’Connor. St Bede’s College
2nd place: Matthew Halford and Finnigan Beamish. Napier Boys’ High School
3rd place: David Reesby and Levi Stewart. Feilding High School
TeenAg competitor of the year: Matthew Halford. Napier Boys’ High School
AgriKidsNZ Grand Final
1st place: Austin Watson, Henry Gray and Tim Connelly-Whyte. Ashburton Intermediate School
2nd place: Eliane Craig, Charlotte Hurst and Ruby Shortus. Waimate High School
3rd place: Patrick Wellbrock, Jock Johnson and Max Williams. Tinui School
AgriKidsNZ competitor of the year: Jorja Fountaine. Kumeroa School