After winning our Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional final of Agri kids, which is part of Young Farmer contest, we were off to Kumeu to compete in the National grand final. My team mates of Ethan and Jason, farming friends from Paeroa, and I were excited and curious about what we would be up against. Our day started at 6:30am, we left the hotel to go to Kumeu show grounds for registration at 7:15am.
At 8:00am we were off on an orienteering round, answering questions about the top 7 young farmer finalists like what region they are in, what age they are and when they started modules etc?
Next was the written where we were tested on our general knowledge identifying pictures from New Zealand like Lake Taupo and the Christchurch Cathedral, different breeds of sheep and cattle.
Modules were fun, we started with native tree naming and putting into wetlands, cowshed and made a line of trees to go down a race, by creek, identifying where they go.
In cooking we made lunch for (imaginary) John Key using lamb, I manned the BBQ while my team mates made the salad.
We sorted wool and named where the wool comes from on the sheep. We also had to tell what wool is made into, and knit a few rows.
For the electricity module we made a square pen with a portable electric fence, say what conducts and insulates electricity with the materials supplied.
Chemical Module, we fertilised and limed a section of paddock, set up an irrigator and measured minerals for a cow trough.
Our last module was a vet one where we counted facial eggs through a microscope to see if the cow had worms and a quiz to match up broken bones in a x-ray machine with names on a sheet.
By 12 we had finished and it was time for a well-earned American hotdog and chips before the finalists were announced.
Yeah!!! We got through and racing in 5th lane.
Race off started with a sack race then shaking cream to make butter and making a marmite sandwich which we had to eat before we could start arranging flowers and foliage in a gumboot. We ran down and took a tyre off a four wheeler, then ran back and nailed three insulators into a post before we had to strip corn cobs off old plants and using our teeth or hands fill up a cup with the kernels. We made up time here and filling a bag with potatoes. Last task was putting up a tee pee with a balloon tied to the top. Yeah we came third in the race.
It was a nail biting wait to find out. We didn’t make the top three but placed well between 4th and 7th out of the top 20 teams in the country. We got great prizes and had loads of fun.