Farming nous gives winning edge

The Tasman team of Joanna Hoogenboom (left), Alice Partridge and Molly Donald was thrilled to win...
The Tasman team of Joanna Hoogenboom (left), Alice Partridge and Molly Donald was thrilled to win the New Zealand Young Farmers stock judging competition earlier this month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED BY ALICE PARTRIDGE
British farming know-how has paid off for Alice Partridge.

The Christchurch City Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) chairwoman, who hails from Suffolk in England, won the New Zealand Young Farmers’ stock judging competition in Christchurch earlier this month.

She was part of the Tasman region team which won the teams event, along with Lincoln University YFC members Joanna Hoogenboom and Molly Donald.

‘‘I was really pleased. Really excited,’’ Ms Partridge said. ‘‘I have done a little bit of stock judging in the UK. It’s very strong over there. It’s very similar in the way you present your reasons.’’

In the contest, competitors judged Suffolk sheep, merino fleeces and Angus heifers. Ms Partridge won the beef section and placed second in the fleece section.

‘‘The merino fleeces were new to me, but we had done them in at the Tasman competition and I was able to pick up a few tips.’’

Ironically, she grew up with Suffolk sheep and was disappointed not to score better in the sheep section.

She grew up on a 280ha (700 acre) sheep, beef and cropping farm in Suffolk run by her father and uncle.

The family farmed Suffolk sheep, British blue stud cattle, commercial beef cattle and grew wheat, barley, sugar beet and rape oil seed.

She moved to New Zealand four years ago and was now based in Christchurch, working for LIC as an agri-manager supporting farmers in the Selwyn district.

‘‘It’s a bit different on the dairy side over here, as it’s much bigger scale. There’s a lot more smaller farms in the UK and it’s very much more all year round milking, with calving in the spring and autumn.

‘‘I have always really liked my beef, but dairy is a good industry to be in.

‘‘I’m really enjoying being in New Zealand and I enjoy the outdoors stuff. It would be lovely to travel and go and see family, but it’s not realistic at the moment. But I’m planning to stay in New Zealand for now anyway.

Results:

Stock Judging Competition

Sheep section: Tom Adkins (Aorangi) 1, Elizabeth Hampton (Aorangi) 2, Zoe Byson (Waikato/Bay of Plenty) 1.

Fleece section: Georgina Campbell (Taranaki-Manawatu) 1, Alice Partridge (Tasman) 2, Tom Adkins (Aorangi) 3.

Beef section: Alice Partridge (Tasman), 1, Elizabeth Hampton (Aorangi) 2, Bex Perry (East Coast) 3.

Overall individual winner stock judging: Alice Partridge. Regional team winner: Tasman.

Hunting and Fishing Clay Target Competition: Bayley Austin (Waikato-Bay of Plenty) 1, Dillon Tillemans (Waikato-Bay of Plenty) 2, George Lowery (Tasman) 3. Regional team winner: Waikato-Bay of Plenty.

Goldpine Fencing competition: Luke Hartnell and Luke Holmes (Waikato-Bay of Plenty) 1, Cameron Arts and Fergus Casey (East Coast) 2, Theo Wesselson and Isaac Johnson (Otago-Southland) 3.

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