Farming is in the blood for three Gore siblings who were testing their mettle against the best young farmers in Otago and Southland yesterday.
The first day of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Otago Southland regional final was held yesterday at the Wingatui Racecourse and qualifiers carry through to today.
The winner will qualify for a spot in the grand final in Hamilton in July.
Siblings Megan, 23, and Laura and Richard Whyte, both 21, of Gore, all travelled up to compete in the heats for the regional finals yesterday, which included a mix of practical and theory exams.
The siblings all work on their family’s sheep, beef, deer and grain farm about a 20-minute drive outside of Gore, and had been doing so since leaving secondary school.
The trio all competed in the morning, with brother Richard driving back down to Gore to get back to work on the family farm in the afternoon.
His sister Laura said as good as it was to get to go to the competition, "farm work never stops".
"I wasn’t worried I didn’t get far, I did as good as I wanted to. It was great to learn some new stuff.
"My favourite module was the beekeeping. It was really interesting learning how to light a smoker, put together a beehive and to get into a suit. I’ve never done much with bees before."
She said doing the competition as a family unit took the stress off, and provided some much-needed company for the drive to Gore.
Megan said there were some things she knew, and some things she did not know, but it was all right because it was all about learning.
"We’re all happy to see each other do well, but occasionally there is a wee competitive side just on things we have as our strengths.
"But the day was good, it was great learning."
Although the siblings did not make it through to the second day, they were all happy to have been able to take part, and would soon be back on the farm working.
One-hundred and seventy-two AgriKidsNZ, FMG Junior and FMG Young Farmer contestants put their names forward to compete in the competition.
The Young Farmer competitors moving on to today were Christopher Smith, Connor Miller, Harry McCallum, Isaac Johnston, James Martin, Sam Anderson, Thomas Slee and Zac Thomas