Geraldine pupils ace AgriKids grand final

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by Alexia Johnston

Geraldine High School’s Jessica Furrer, Angus Wallace and William Wilson have won top honours at this year’s AgriKids grand final.

The year 8 pupils travelled to Feilding for the event this month, where they were put to the test against 20 other teams in a range of disciplines, including an exam and practical modules.

They were placed in the top seven in the first set of modules, securing them a place in the next round in which they completed activities against the clock, Geraldine High School head of primary industries Sarah Foley-Smith said.

“It was exciting.”

As part of those activities children had to build a gate, carry a hay bale, bob for apples in water “that was absolutely freezing” and drink a bottle of water using a lamb’s teat.

Final results showed the Geraldine children were the “clear winners”, Mrs Foley-Smith said.

She acknowledged their hard work and ability to keep their composure.

“It’s quite hard to do all those things when you’ve got the crowd yelling at you and the commentating and the crowd watching you.

“You have to be cool, calm and collected to do well at that, which is what they did.”

The group took part in a range of fundraising ventures to make the trip, something that amazed people at the event, Mrs Foley-Smith said.

William, Angus and Jessica were joined at the event by nine of the school’s senior agricultural pupils. The senior pupils worked two 14-hour days at the event, helping set up.

They also helped judge the AgriKids and TeenAg events, which took place at the same venue. They then helped pack up at the end of both events

Competitions co-ordinator David Highsted said competition was “fierce”.

“It was awesome to see how passionate each team was about each aspect of the competition.”

Timaru youngsters were also celebrating success at the event, as Cameron Lyon and Jack Millar finished second in the TeenAg competition.

The competitions, run by NZ Young Farmers, allow pupils from farming and non-farming backgrounds to learn many skills necessary later on in life.

Many recipients of the awards go on to receive highly sought-after scholarships or even compete in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.