Geraldine HS pupils thrilled with third in young farmer competition

.Geraldine pupils received advice from fencing champion, Shane Bouskill. Back row from left: Oliver Keely, Patrick Goodwin, Jack Reith, Shane Bouskill (holding golden pliers), Archie Chisholm, Josh Schwalger, Taylor Bird, Ben Chambers and Kieran Wardsmith
.Geraldine pupils received advice from fencing champion, Shane Bouskill. Back row from left: Oliver Keely, Patrick Goodwin, Jack Reith, Shane Bouskill (holding golden pliers), Archie Chisholm, Josh Schwalger, Taylor Bird, Ben Chambers and Kieran Wardsmith Front row from left: Jason Harford, James Rowley and Ben Moffitt. Photo: Supplied
Geraldine High School pupils were thrilled with their achievements at the FMG Junior Young Farmers of the Year contest in Napier earlier this month.

''We went into the competition aiming for top five so when we found out we placed top three and won the [practical] module and farmlet sections we were over the moon,'' one of the pupils, Jacob Price, said.

Jacob and Patrick Foley-Smith (both 17) combined to place third overall in the competition won by Napier Boys' High School's Finn Beamish and Matthew Halford, who had home-town advantage and placed second last year.

Jacob Price (left) and Patrick Foley-Smith seen in the practical section of the competition which they won. Photo: Supplied
Jacob Price (left) and Patrick Foley-Smith seen in the practical section of the competition which they won. Photo: Supplied
Another Napier Boys' High School combination was second. A total of 14 teams from all over New Zealand contested the final.

As well as finishing third overall, Jacob and Patrick won the practical section and tied for first in the farmlet section with the other team from Geraldine High School of Ben Chambers and Taylor Bird.

The farmlet section involved a Hansen water supply task, building a pipe circuit using two troughs and assembling a K-line pod.

Modules involved wool classing, tractor driving, insurance, soil deficiencies, safety checks, macro invertebrates and Nait questions.

''We would never have made it this far if it wasn't for [teacher]) Sarah Foley-Smith, our families, sponsors and everyone else who supported us along our journey,'' Jacob said.

''A massive thank you goes out to these people.''

Sarah Foley-Smith said the school was very proud of the boys.

''It has been a long road to the young farmer in terms of fundraising and balancing study with the boys' year 13 academic workload and to come away with third place along with the coveted practical and farmlet prizes was a near perfect result.

The pupils had a support team from Geraldine to provide encouragement and Shane Bouskill, the Silver Spades fencing champion, gave them fencing tuition.

While in Hawke's Bay, the pupils toured Pan Pac Forestry, an apple orchard, Church Road Winery at Taradale and Arataki Honey at Havelock North.

-By Chris Tobin

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