Agri kids win challenge

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AgriKids NZ grand final winners, Ashburton Intermediate School students Henry Gray, Austin Watson and Tim Connelly-Whyte, multi-task during an agri-challenge competition against three of their teachers.

AgriKids NZ Grand Final winners from Ashburton Intermediate School – the AIS Fencers – convincingly won a fun, agri-challenge mini event against some of the school’s staff last week.

Austin Watson, Henry Gray and Tim Connelly-Whyte took on staff members Hinehau Butcher, Matt Jones and Brad Raukawa in a mini challenge event with 14 tasks to complete, earning up to a maximum of 350 points.

The students won 325 points to 243 points.

Parent organiser Amanda Connelly said the event showcased agriculture and some of the skills the boys had learned as participants in the national competition.

It was also a way to promote the school’s new Agriculture Pull Out Programme, starting next year.

Parents of the boys were on hand to set up and judge the competitors completed work.

Assisted by the school’s AgriKids girls team of Sara Sheppard, Isle Connelly-Whyte and Jess Taylor, competitors tackled the course in front of their school peers and colleagues.

It was compered by principal Brent Gray.

Included in the test was a mechanical module changing the front tyres of a quad bike and adjusting the tension on the chain of a two wheeler; and an identification table, where competitors had to name the breed of sheep, deer, farm equipment from photographs, bags of seeds and fertiliser.

Other skills were: a safety component to put on personal protective equipment; make a sling out of a work shirt and bandage an ankle; the assembly and tension set of a shearing hand piece; to complete a tape gate set up; assembly of a wheelbarrow; the plumbing of a water trough; identification of five different apple varieties; to make up milk and feed a lamb.

There was also a 17 question quiz to be completed during the event, which took around 30 minutes.

The two lambs, Twitch and Dot, brought in for the event were a big hit with the school pupils.

The AgriKids NZ grand final competition was held alongside the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final last month in Invercargill.

The AIS Fencers beat 20 other teams for the title.

Teams did similar challenges to test their practical and theoretical skills.

The AIS Fencers picked up the overall win, and awards for their practical skills and for the best costumes in the grand parade.