Despite the bitterly cold Feilding weather, Year 13 students Brad Edwards and Quinn Bowie put their outdoor agricultural skills to the test in the 2017 TeenAg Grand Final earlier this month.
Held on July 7 in Feilding, finalists from around New Zealand were challenged to six practical modules, a Face-Off, a 60-minute exam, a 2-minute speech and to build their very own Farmlets.
“We were given some interesting and varied activities to complete, including the opportunity to start up and control a New Holland Forage Cruiser, as well as delve inside a calving cow and then alert the vet to the calf presentation. We also had to build a Farmlet, with a rail fence, raised garden bed and a scarecrow to complement the garden,” says Quinn.
While the boys did not place overall in the competition (which was taken out by East Coast’s Rathkeale College), they did come second in the speech section with their presentation on ‘how to get more young people in agriculture’.
“The TeenAg bar seems to lift each year, with more complex and skilful challenges matched by an ever-growing skill and confidence level among the contestants,” says St Paul’s Agribusiness Project Curriculum Director, Kerry Allen.
“Even though the boys didn’t place they should be extremely proud of their efforts. It was great to see so many poised and skilled young people fronting up to represent their schools and the growing capability within the sector, which bodes well for the future in the primary industries,” says Allen.
The TeenAg competition runs alongside the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Finals across the seven regions (Northern, Waikato-Bay of Plenty, Taranaki-Manawatu, East Coast, Tasman, Aorangi, Otago-Southland) and leads into the Grand Final each year. The top two Regional Final place-getters are invited to compete at the Grand Final where they have the opportunity to take home the National TeenAg Champion title for that year.