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Tasman FMG Junior Young Farmer Of The Year And AgriKidsNZ Winners Announced

Three AgriKidsNZ and two FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year teams from the Tasman region will be jetting to the Contest Series Grand Final in Whangarei this July.

The Tasman FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Final was held on Saturday (19th Feb) in Springston.

Tasman FMG Junior Young Farmers of the Year were named as Jack Dennehy-Coles and Finn O’Kane from St Bede's College.

Amelia Ridgen and Erin Humm from Christchurch Girls' High School were named as the region’s runner up for the second year running.

Tasman's top AgriKidsNZ team came from Oxford Area School, made up by William Glassford, 12, William Shore, 12, and Elizabeth Cooper, 11.

Team Supervisor Michelle Maginness said the kids were over the moon to have taken out the title.

"They reckon it's the best day of their lives," she laughed.

"They're pretty stoked, they're absolutely pumped. They've competed in the competition a few times and they really enjoy it so to get somewhere is just the icing on top of the cake."

All three kids are from dairy farms and described by Maginness as real farm kids who love being outside and out on the farm.

Saint Bede's College agriculture teacher and team supervisor John McPhail says his boys had a relatively short lead in time to prepare for the competition.

"I heard they were up quite late last night reading through different notes and cramming a bit of study," he said.

"It was a tight turn around this year because we'd only been back at school for two weeks before entries were due. They were a last minute entry on the day before so it was good I managed to convince them and get them in there."

McPhail has coached two teams to Grand Final success, taking out the national title of FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year in 2018 and 2020.

"There is that pressure there and they do feel a bit nervous going in because of that expectation, but I will prepare them as best as I can for what to expect when you get there. They just have to go out there and do the best they can," he said.

Both students are in year 12 and are boarders, with Dennehy-Coles from a dairy farm on the West Coast and O'Kane from a dairy farm in South Canterbury.

Under the red light system, each event at the Tasman FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Final was held separately and capped at 35 teams on rotation to comply with the 100 person capacity limit.

The top two FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year teams and top three AgriKidsNZ teams are invited to the Grand Final.

New Zealand Young Farmers Events Manager Staci Barnette said it's awesome to still be able to host events safely.

"Although it's tough to have to cap entries for student teams, it's epic to give our kids something to look forward to and see all our teams come out in full force and enjoy the day," she said.

"The top three AgriKidsNZ teams looked like they had so much fun during the race off, which is actually quite challenging. Our top two FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year teams were great to watch during the face off and really dug deep to get on that leaderboard."

"We're ecstatic to be able to invite five more teams to Grand Final in Whangarei, it's already shaping up to be a fantastic event and a Grand Final with a difference!"

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest series would not be possible without support from our family of sponsors FMG, Ravensdown, Worksafe, MPI, EPA, Honda, STIHL, Massey University, Lincoln University, New Holland and PTS Logistics.

© Scoop Media

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