FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year and AgriKids Grand Final kick off

Posted by Erin Speedy on 16 June 2020 | Comments

It is officially Grand Final week for the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year and AgriKids contests.

Despite a hiccup in the road with COVID-19 cancelling three regional finals, the whole contest was moved online, allowing the South Island Regional Finalists to be chosen.

This week the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year competitors are taking part in a series of activities before the big Grand Final on Friday.

It’s also full steam ahead for the 21 AgriKids teams who are busy preparing for the Grand Final on Friday too.

New Zealand Young Farmers CEO Lynda Coppersmith says it has been a mammoth effort to turn the whole Grand Final into an online event.

“The events team, the family of sponsors and everyone else involved has put a huge amount of work in to completely reformat the Grand Final, doing something we have never done before,” she says.

“It’s been incredible to watch and I am so proud of the team for putting this together, as well as all of the NZ Young Farmers member volunteers, competitors, teachers and parents who have helped out along the way and have been just as excited as we are to host it.”

The first task for the FMG Junior Young Farm of the Year competitors was to complete a farmlet challenge with both teams in each region going head to head on Saturday.

Northern Region cousin duo from Okaihau College, Nick and Zoe Harrison, took out the challenge and are currently topping the leader’s board out of the 14 teams.

Volunteers from Young Farmers’ Clubs helped to facilitate and judge each regional event, where teams had to create a tumbling composter using a barrel.

Nick and Zoe say the challenge went pretty well and they managed to get it done in time, plus put in a few extras.

“I do quite a bit of stuff with tools, building and fencing and those kinds of things,” Nick says. 

“It’s right up our alley, it’s something we can naturally do and deal with,” Zoe agrees. 

But the pair say they’re not taking the win lightly and getting ahead of themselves.

“There’s a lot of work to be done, there’s a lot of writing, a lot of thinking. I think we’re glad we’re a hopefully a few points ahead in the farmlet because that’s probably going to make a major difference,” Zoe says. 

Not having the Grand Final in Christchurch as originally planned before COVID-19 restrictions started to come into play is also a tad disappointing for the pair.

“It is what it is, but we’re really grateful that we were able to do the farmlet challenge practically instead of doing the whole Grand Final all online,” she says.

Now they reckon it’s time to stop mucking around and focus on getting all the work done.

On Wednesday the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year teams will hand in their innovation projects and also get their speech topics.

Come Friday, they will compete online in an exam, a series of modules and also present their speeches.

The top five  point scoring teams will then move into the “Face Off” where they will battle it out in a famous Young Farmer of the Year styled quiz. 

On Friday the AgriKids teams made up of three competitors will also be going head to head in an exam, modules and completing an agri-task.

The top five teams will then head into the AgriKids “Race Off” which is also a quiz. 

The awards ceremony will be held at 6pm – where the winners of both contests will be announced as well as the FMG People’s Choice winners.

Lynda Coppersmith says it’s shaping up to an epic day for everyone involved.

Live updates can be found online on the Teen Ag website here  and on the Teen Ag Facebook page here

A live stream of the Face Off and Awards Ceremony can also be found on the Teen Ag Facebook Page.