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Community raises $8,000 to help Marton students

Community raises $8,000 to help Marton students attend Invercargill grand final

Attending the AgriKidsNZ Grand Final in Invercargill next month will have special significance for Marton mother Hayley Grant.

Hayley’s daughter Abbey is one of seven children from South Makirikiri School heading to the hotly-contested national final.

“I have five children and they’ve all competed at either regional or national AgriKidsNZ finals. Abbey is the last,” said Hayley.

“She’s only in Year 7 and is thrilled to finally be having a go.”

Two teams from the school placed second and third at the Taranaki/Manawatu AgriKidsNZ Regional Final in Wellington in February.

The placings meant they qualified for the grand final in Invercargill on July 6th, continuing the school’s legacy.

“Our school has had a team make a final of AgriKidsNZ almost every year since it started, thanks to the passion of our kids, teachers and parents,” said Hayley.

The school won the grand final in 2014.

The competition sees students tackle fun challenges testing their practical and theoretical skills.

It’s a key part of the work being done by NZ Young Farmers to attract students into the agri-food sector.

The students’ attendance at the event is only possible because of generous sponsor and community support.

“We’ve had to raise $8,000 to get the kids down to Invercargill,” said Hayley.

“We’ve just done our last sausage sizzle and have achieved our target, which is awesome.”

AgriKidsNZ began in 2003.

This year marks 10 years since the competition started running alongside the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.

To mark the occasion South Makirikiri School is holding a special celebration starting at 5pm on Thursday 28th June.

A guest speaker at the event will be Taranaki/Manawatu FMG Young Farmer of the Year grand finalist Will Taylor.

“One of the neat things about the competition is that is gives our students from urban areas like Marton an opportunity to learn skills from farm kids,” she said.

“It gives me a real buzz.”

“AgriKidsNZ is a great way to help narrow the gap between kids from urban and rural areas while having fun and broadening their knowledge,” she said.

Students attending the grand final from South Makirikiri School are Elsa Trotter, Tom Whitton, Kendall Rakete-Marshall, Aleesha Managh, Katie Clarke, Abbey Grant and Hugh Thomas.

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