Junior farmers win third title

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WINNING GRINS: Aorangi FMG Junior Young Farmer winners (from left) James Clark and Jack Foster. PHOTOS SUPPLIED
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For the third year in a row, James Clark and Jack Foster from Mount Hutt College were unbeatable and have won the Aorangi FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year title for 2024.

Ella Hole and Shelby Henson from Geraldine High School placed second. The competition, part of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Aorangi regional final, was held at Kurow last weekend.

The Young Farmer event was won by Pleasant Point farmer Gareth McKerchar. Samuel Allen of Pleasant Point Young Farmers was second and Marcus Frost of Five Forks Young Farmers was third.

In the Aorangi AgriKidsNZ competition Longbeach School pupils George Lash, Edward White and Henry Pottinger, all 12, were runner-up in the competition won by Leah Wilson, Olivia Strachan, and Greer Neal, all 11, of Duntroon School.

Jack France (12), Arthur Redfern (12) and Henry Phillips (11) from Waihi School placed third.

The top placing teams have been invited to the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in July.

Aorangi AgriKids runner-ups, from left, George Lash, Henry Pottinger and Edward White of Longbeach School.

New Zealand Young Farmers chief executive Lynda Coppersmith said every year organisers continued to be blown away by the calibre of our FMG Young Farmer of the Year contestants, from AgriKidsNZ participants through to those vying for the regional FMG Young Farmer of the Year title.

‘‘Their knowledge, skills and passion for the industry is impressive and certainly leaves us excited for the future of our industry,” she said.

New Zealand’s primary sector exports were worth more than $57 billion in the year to June 2023, accounting for 81.9 per cent of New Zealand’s merchandise exports.

Coppersmith said it’s the regional communities and volunteers who have made the FMG Young Farmer of the Year the prestigious event it is today.

“We simply couldn’t do it without the tireless work of our local committees, communities and volunteers. These are people who support us year in, year out, and we’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has played a part.”