Putaruru students heading to AgriKidsNZ grand final in Hawke’s Bay

Posted by on 28 March 2019 | Comments

A talented trio from Putaruru has qualified for the national final of a major agricultural contest.

Quin Farrell, 12, Liam Loijen, 12, and Nathan Fladgate, 12, are all students at St Mary’s Catholic School.

They won the fiercely-contested Waikato/Bay of Plenty AgriKidsNZ Regional Final in Matamata on Saturday for the second year in a row.

The regional final saw 45 students, working in teams of three, take on a series of fun modules.

“I really enjoyed the Honda module, which involved fitting wheels onto a farm bike,” said Nathan.

A large number of the competitors were from Maihiihi School, east of Otorohanga.

Kate Fitzgerald, 12, Hailee Karekare, 11, and Shae Lyons, 11, from Maihiihi School placed second.

Angel Oakley-Smith, 12, Te Koha Martin, 11, and Kate Rye, 11, who are also from Maihiihi School, were third.

All three teams have qualified for the AgriKidsNZ Grand Final in Hawke’s Bay in July.

“It’s awesome. We had a great time at last year’s event. We are a good team because we help each other out and can work together,” said Nathan Fladgate.

Finn Patterson, 14, and Campbell Trousdale, 17, from Hauraki Plains College won the hotly-contested FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year regional final in Matamata.

“I didn’t think we’d done that well, so it was a shock when our names were called out,” said Campbell.

Almost 40 high schools students from across the sprawling region worked in pairs to tackle a range of challenges.

The modules tested the students’ practical and theoretical skills, and included a quiz hosted by Te Radar.

“I enjoyed all of the modules, especially the New Holland one using the tractor fitted with GPS technology,” said Finn.

Alex West, 14, and Alex Fitzgerald, 14, who are from Te Awamutu College, took out second place.

Both teams have qualified for the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Hawke’s Bay.

It’s the second time Finn and Campbell have made it through to the national final.

“We were second in last year’s regional final, which meant we got to compete at the grand final in Invercargill,” said Campbell.

“We didn’t really know what we were going into, so we were a bit under prepared.”

“We know what to expect this time, so it should hopefully give us a bit of an advantage,” he said.

Campbell and Finn are both students at Hauraki Plains College and members of the school’s TeenAg club.

Both national finals will take place alongside the prestigious FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.

The FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year competition was formerly known as TeenAg.

Both events are a key part of the work being done by NZ Young Farmers to attract students into the agri-food sector.  



Waikato/Bay of Plenty regional final

FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year

1st Finn Patterson and Campbell Trousdale. Hauraki Plains College.

2nd Alex West and Alex Fitzgerald. Te Awamutu College.

3rd Chloe Cole and Nerida Bateup. Te Kauwhata College.



1st Quin Farrell, Liam Loijen and Nathan Fladgate. St Mary’s Catholic School. Putaruru.

2nd Kate Fitzgerald, Hailee Karekare and Shae Lyons. Maihiihi School.

3rd Angel Oakley-Smith, Te Koha Martin and Kate Rye. Maihiihi School.

Competitor of the day: Lochlin Siemelink.