Milton pair named Otago/Southland FMG Junior Young Farmers of the Year

Posted by on 18 February 2019 | Comments


A talented duo from Milton has taken top honours at the first FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year regional final.

Zoe McElrea, 13, and Nicole Keen, 15, won the hotly-contested event at the Tokomairiro A&P Showgrounds yesterday.

More than 50 TeenAg members from across the Otago/Southland region worked in pairs to tackle a range of challenges.

The modules tested the students’ practical and theoretical skills and included a quiz hosted by Te Radar.

1st Zoe McElrea and Nicole Keen. Tokomairiro High School. “We’re stoked with the result. Zoe’s only in Year 9 and we’re really impressed with how she went in the buzzer round,” said Zoe’s mum Lisa McElrea.

Holly Clarke, 16, and Tia Dougherty, 15, from St Hilda’s Collegiate School in Dunedin, took out second place.

Both teams have qualified for the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Hawke’s Bay.

“Can I just point out that the competitors in the top two teams are all girls. It’s fantastic to see,” Te Radar told the 170-strong crowd at the Milton Coronation Hall.

Cooper Mitchell, Ben Cairns, and Danny McDonald from Limehills School near Winton won the fiercely-contested AgriKidsNZ contest. 

That regional final saw 144 students, working in teams of three, take on a series of eight fun modules.

The top seven teams went head-to-head in a race-off. 

The aim of the event is to get kids excited about opportunities in the primary industries, said competition co-ordinator Jake Lonergan.

Chonelle Ayson, Jessie McFadzien and Hanna Lawlor from Longford Intermediate School in Gore placed second.

Archie Chittock, Flynn Hill and Shamus Young from Blue Mountain College in Tapanui were third.

All three teams have qualified for the AgriKidsNZ Grand Final in Hawke’s Bay.

Both national finals will take place alongside the prestigious FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in July.  

TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ are a key part of the work being done by NZ Young Farmers to attract students into the agri-food sector.  



Otago/Southland regional final

FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year

1st Zoe McElrea and Nicole Keen. Tokomairiro High School.

2nd Holly Clarke and Tia Dougherty. St Hilda’s Collegiate School, Dunedin.

3rd Hamish Goatley and Ryan Currie. Gore High School.


1st Cooper Mitchell, Ben Cairns and Danny McDonald. Limehills School.

2nd Chonelle Ayson, Jessie McFadzien and Hanna Lawlor. Longford Intermediate School.

3rd Archie Chittock, Flynn Hill and Shamus Young. Blue Mountain College.