Skills day and bark off planned by North King Country Young Farmers

Posted by on 15 October 2018 | Comments


North King Country Young Farmers is on a mission to double its membership.

The active Te Kuiti-based club has a diverse member base of shepherds, dairy farmers and local rural professionals.

“Our aim is to help connect people and provide opportunities to socialise and upskill,” said member Christin Bentley.

Christin is a shepherd on a property near Pio Pio which runs dairy grazers and 3,000 sheep.

The 29-year-old is spearheading a number of events to help build the club’s profile and attract new members.

It’s holding a skills day at Te Wharua Station at Matiere, northwest of Taumarunui, on November 10th.

“A local fencing contractor will be there to help people learn new skills or hone their technique,” she said.

Experienced shearer Mickey McDonald will teach people how to set up a handpiece and shear a sheep.

“Everyone will be at different skill levels,” said Christin.

“Some people might want to learn how to crutch a sheep, others will be after tips to improve and get faster.”

“A district qualifying event for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year is coming up, so it’s perfect timing,” she said.

The vocal skills of King Country working dogs will be put to the test that night at a Bark Off at the Matiere Cosmopolitan Club.

“Entrants bring their dog inside and if they can’t get it to bark they have to get up on the table and howl instead. It’s a really fun event,” she said.

The entry fee is $10 per dog, with a maximum of two dogs allowed per person.

The club’s also organising a speed shearing event at The Riverside in Te Kuiti on December 8th.

The club has welcomed a number of new members following the closure of Taumarunui Young Farmers.

“We’re looking at holding regular pub nights closer to Taumarunui so those members don’t have as far to travel,” said Christin.

North King Country Young Farmers meets on the first Wednesday of the month at The Riverside in Te Kuiti.