School teams win two bronze medals

Aorangi Young Farmer of the Year representative Alan Harvey uses a virtual reality simulator as part of the WorkSafe module. Photo: Kirsten Simcox
Aorangi Young Farmer of the Year representative Alan Harvey uses a virtual reality simulator as part of the WorkSafe module. Photo: Kirsten Simcox
The central South Island missed out on major prizes at the Young Farmer of the Year grand final.

However, two of the school teams brought home bronze medals from the Hawke's Bay event on July 5-6.

Jacob Price and Patrick Foley-Smith (both 17), of Geraldine High School, were third in the Junior Young Farmer of the Year competition for secondary school teams of two.

Napier Boys' High School finished first and second in the 14-team competition.

Ruby Giera, Lachlan Rooney and James Clark, of Mt Somers Springburn School, were third in the AgriKidsNZ contest for primary and intermediate school pupils.

Sixty-three participants battled wet and cold conditions. The winners were from Tapanui's Blue Mountain College, and Northland's Kamo Intermediate was second.

 

YOUNG FARMER

In the main competition, Aorangi representative Alan Harvey said the grand final was ''an awesome experience''.

The Five Forks Young Farmers Club member, who works as operations manager for North Otago dairy farming company Borst Holdings Ltd, said it was ''pretty cool'' to meet and get on with the other six finalists.

''It was bloody good to go out there and do it.''

A change in the competition format to place more emphasis on marketing ''threw me a bit'', he admitted.

''It was to be expected, but I didn't know how much.''

Mr Harvey loved the practical challenges.

''I gave it my best shot. I couldn't have done better.''

He has not yet decided whether to try again next year.

The title went to Auckland-based business graduate James Robertson who, at 22, is the youngest winner in the event's 51-year history. He grew up on a 200-cow Waikato dairy farm and works in Fonterra's trade strategy team.

''The opportunities in the agri-food sector are endless, even if you live in the city,'' Mr Robertson said.

''You just have to be passionate.''

He also won the FMG People's Choice Award, collecting $1000 for his Auckland Young Farmers club.

Central Hawke's Bay technical field representative Joseph Watts (28) was second overall and earned the innovation prize, the award for showcasing food production, and was named the most tech-savvy contestant.

Waikato vet Emma Dangen (24) was third overall and won the award for championing environmental best practice.

Whanganui stock manager Alex Field (25) won the outstanding leadership skills award.

 

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