Eddie Millichamp and Sophie Adkins from Mount Hutt College have taken out the title of 2021 FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year.
They were one of 14 teams from across New Zealand that competed in the prestigious Grand Final. The chilly start to a crisp winter’s day in Christchurch didn’t deter friends and family from coming along to support the competitors.
“Getting to be here and having this experience has been awesome,” said Sophie.
The pair topped the points table at the Aorangi regional final to qualify for the Grand Final.
The FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year runs in a similar style to the FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest. A series of modules and a Farmlet challenge throughout the Practical Day was accompanied by an exam and speeches all designed to test their teamwork, practical and theoretical knowledge and skills.
“The speech was both a challenge and a highlight, our topic was on land use and soil types,” said Sophie.
The top five teams from the practical day went into “the face-off”, a famous FMG Young Farmer of the Year buzzer styled quiz which saw students being asked anything from the colour of a black box in a plane to the correct depth for soil testing. The teams jostled to get the most points, but overall winners Eddie and Sophie came out on top.
Judges commented on the outstanding quality of the competitors and the quality of work they produced throughout the day, in particular on the Farmlet.
“It’s been an outstanding competition, every year it just keeps getting better and better. Seeing the kids coming through every year and learning and growing, it’s just an absolute highlight,” said Te Radar, MC for the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year contest.
The duo who are in their final year of high school and both headed to Lincoln University next year, worked well together and are stoked with their win.
“AgriKidsNZ and FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year are our newest and probably fastest growing part of NZ Young Farmers. We see the pathway, from AgrKidsNZ, to FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year to FMG Young Farmer of the Year, as a pathway to excellence. We’ve had such an outstanding calibre of competitors across the three competitions today which is great to see and makes for an exciting future,” said NZ Young Farmers CEO, Lynda Coppersmith.
Jono Harris and Alex Wyeth from Rathkeale College took out second place.
Tayla Hansen from St Paul’s Collegiate and Tim Lumsden from Hamilton Boys’ High School came third.
The award for Competitor of the Year was presented jointly to Anna Ede and Ben Ede.
The FMG Junior Young Farmers of the Year winners each won $300 from FMG, a prize pack to the value of $500 from Massey University, $500 Hunting and Fishing Voucher from Lincoln University and a Bunnings pack. Junior Young Farmers of the Year each won $300 from FMG, a prize pack to the value of $500 from Massey University, $500 Hunting and Fishing Voucher from Lincoln University and a Bunnings pack.
The event is a key part of the work being done by NZ Young Farmers to attract students into the agri-food sector.
It’s supported by FMG, Ravensdown, Honda, WorkSafe, STIHL, Lincoln University, Massey University, Southfuels, Northfuels, New Holland, PTS Logistics and MPI Biosecurity NZ.
FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Winners: Eddie Millichamp and Sophie Adkins from Mount Hutt College. Aorangi Region.
FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Second Place: Alex Wyeth and Jono Harris from Rathkeale College. East Coast Region.
FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Third Place: Tayla Hansen and Tim Lumsden from Hamilton Boys’ High School and St Pauls Collegiate. Waikato/Bay of Plenty
Region Exam winners: Amelia Ridgen and Erin Humm from Christchurch Girls’ High school. Tasman Region.
Module winners: Jock Bourke and Thomas Fountaine from Rathkeale College. East Coast Region.
Farmlet winners: Alex Wyeth and Jono Harris from Rathkeale College. East Coast Region.
Speech winners: Zoe McElrea and Millar McElrea from Columba College & John McGlashan College. Otago/Southland Region.
Face-off winners: Alex Wyeth and Jono Harris from Rathkeale College. East Coast Region.
Competitor of the year: Anne Ede and Ben Ede from Cambridge High School. Waikato/Bay of Plenty Region.
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