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Fun side of farming

Fun side of farming

In just a few short weeks rural youth will be out in full force trying to prove they’ve got what it takes to be the 2014 AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Champions.

Close to seven hundred primary and secondary aged students battled it out in the seven Regional Finals across the country earlier this year. The top three teams from each region progressed through to the Grand Finals, set to be held alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest in Christchurch, 3-5 July.

“These students have been preparing for months,” said Josie Hampton AgriKidsNZ & TeenAg Project Leader. “They pour everything they’ve got into this competition and it’s quite an honour for them to represent their schools at Grand Final.”

AgriKidsNZ, in teams of three, and TeenAg competitors, in pairs, will be challenged in a series of timed modules on all sorts of agricultural and not-so-agricultural tasks, to be revealed on the day.

The top seven teams from each series go through to compete in their respective race-off challenges where contestants are given a series of tasks in a dash to the finish line.

The competition tests practical farming skills and knowledge, but the main goal of these programmes is to help young people explore the fun and rewarding side of agriculture at an early age.

“It’s important for our young kiwis to see that farming is not all brawn, plenty of knowledge and many different skillsets are required in the primary industries.”

Both competitions will be held Friday 4 July from 8am at Lincoln University grounds, corner of Farm and Weedons Roads, gold coin donation entry.

It will be a full on day for competitors and spectators with the 46th ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Final Practical Day events also taking place, plus national finals for New Zealand Young Farmers fencing, clay target shooting and stock judging and the preliminary round of the World Young Shepherds Challenge.

AgriKidsNZ was established a decade ago with one national club and membership has been growing steadily. There are over 1300 members today and participation is based on ‘giving it a go’ in the competition series.

The first TeenAg club was established in 2009 and the first competition held two years later. The clubs are modelled off of Young Farmers Clubs operating in high schools and are structured with meetings and skill building activities. Today there are over 500 members across New Zealand.

The programmes are run by New Zealand Young Farmers and funded by Beef + Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, and MPI with TeenAg sponsorship from Southfuels / Northfuels.

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