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Top rural youth compete for champion titles in Lincoln


Top rural youth compete for champion titles in Lincoln

AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg competitors battled it out today in their respective Grand Finals at Lincoln University, alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Final.

Taking home the top honour of 2014 AgriKidsNZ Champions was 'The Three Makateers,' Mark O'Shanassy, Jack Norman and Harriet Whitfield from Taranaki/Manawatu.

The contestants were surprised but very happy with the win today. The team worked diligently in the lead up with regular coaching sessions from parent helpers and practicing skills like cooking and learning different elements of farming.

The 2014 TeenAg Champions are the 'Glenham Monsters,' Jeffrey Robinson and Justin Boyd from Otago/Southland. The pair have competed at the regional level three times previously and were absolutely thrilled with the win and said that it was "very cool" to be part of the competition.

Rounding out the AgriKidsNZ top three was the Wainuioru Hillbillies Jess Long, Bella Freeman and Brook Robertson from the East Coast Region in second and Aorangi's Hind's Agris, Ella Yeatman, William Ward and Ben MacLeod in third.

In the TeenAg competition second place went to the 'Two Lone Wolves', Graham Johnson and Cory Jones from Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Tasman's Jack Anderson and Ben Early, 'Jack & Ben,' took third.

"This year both competitions were stepped up a notch in difficulty," said Josie Hampton AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Project Leader. "We were very impressed with how all the contestants welcomed the challenge," she said.

It was a frosty start, but for the remainder of the day it was blue skies and sunshine for the competitions.

The AgriKidsNZ were tested in a first-aid scenario, identifying tools, sheep breeds and farm products, making sausages and putting an irrigator together.

The Race-Off was rather technical as the children had to measure the right amount of food for hungry working dogs, wrap a hay bale, stack tyres, taste test juice, grade eggs, throw gumboots and, for the explosive finale, make a gyser with Coca-Cola and Mentos.

In the TeenAg competition teams were tasked with labeling meat cuts, managing hazards at a fuel site, identifying animals only by their feet, mouthing ewes, installing a sprinkler, and classifying parts of rumen anatomy.

The Race-Off tested the teenagers stomach strength as they had to pluck a duck, taste test dried herbs, make a long-drop, correctly set a table, roll up tubing, but a beehive together, correctly identify weeds, and extinguish a fire.

The AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Grand Finals both comprise of preliminary modules, a written exam and an observation round. The seven top scoring teams from each go through to the Race-Off where competitors are racing against the clock and each other.

Contestants went home with prizes such as cash, outdoor clothing, pocket knives, driving course vouchers (for TeenAg), cell phones (for AgriKidsNZ) and plenty more.


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