Each year New Zealand Young Farmers, hosts three national competitions, for three different age groups; AgriKids, TeenAg and FMG Young Farmer of the Year. With National Finals coming up in Timaru in July, we took the chance to sit down with Taranaki/Manawatū AgriKids regional winners, the Rangitikei Rouseys. The all-girls team was made up of Anna Simpson, Sophie McDonald & Jessica Welch, all year 9 students at FAHS Feilding High School.
How did you get involved with AgriKids?
S: Our primary school was quite agriculturally focused and we have entered together a few times now and really enjoyed. We thought why not do it again at high school
Is it a surprise for an all girls team to win?
J: Yeah it is. Generally the boys are a lot stronger at manoeuvring things and with the modules at the beginning, boys tend to have a lot more speed so they normally have the upper hand. I guess since we are a bit older than most of the competition, we probably have more knowledge
What is your favourite part of the competition?
J: We like both the thinking and the practical parts. Both are great because the modules challenge you where as the runoff (physical) is fast, but you do still have to think about it
Have you made many friends or met any cool people through the competitions?
A: Yeah we have made friends from other schools, and we got to met Pete Fitz-Herbert, that was cool
(Pete Fitz-Herbert is competing in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year)
What kinds of other people enter the competition?
J: All sorts. Lots of other kids from agri backgrounds compete, but the competition is open to everyone. We’ve been competing against lots of people from towns who have done well, and often they know the small things that we don’t
A: If they know what they are getting into and if they want to do it, then they can definitely do it, they just need support
What was the funniest thing that’s happened during a competition?
S: The can opener!
J: At the grand finals last year we had to made sushi. The tuna was in a can and we broke the can opener when we were trying to open it so we had to resort to using a knife
A: it was so funny but also scary – luckily the health and safety inspector didn’t see us
What advice would you give to future contestants?
S: Train hard and really think about it when you are doing it
A: A lot of it is common sense
J: And working as a team really helps
Where do you see yourselves working when you finish school? Still in agri?
S: Yeah definitely. Agri is quite broad – there is like agribusiness and sciences and technology and food, so there are loads of different areas. I’ll probably work in business side, because that’s who I am
J: I’m interested in agri finance or maybe agri real estate
A: Me? I’m going bush