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S54: Waikato Bay of Plenty FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year & AgriKidsNZ winners

Written by
NZ Young Farmers

Saint Paul's Collegiate has come out on top of the Waikato Bay of Plenty FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year contest with the top two teams.  

Year 12 students Ben Allen, 17, and Alex Purdie, 17, were named the region's FMG Junior Young Farmers of the Year.  

Meanwhile a team of first time competitors took out the AgriKidsNZ top spot - Archie Keelty (St Patricks School), Liam Hodgson (Pirongia School) and Leighton Barnett (St Columbus School), all 12 years old.  

FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year team supervisor Kerry Allen said the pair competed in 2020 and came third, just missing out on the Grand Final qualification.  

"Ben and Alex were hoping to get through, they wanted to do better than what they did when they came third so they studied and practiced doing some modules," she said.  

Also the team supervisor for the runner up team, Brother and sister duo Kate Morton (year 13) and Finn Morton (year 9), Allen was looking forward to the preparation for Grand Final.  

"We'll be doing things that they're not normally exposed to and fundraise to ensure that they can get up to Whangarei easily. They're all looking forward to learning new things and upskilling," she said.  

AgriKidsNZ team supervisor Sharon Hodgson said the trio of boys were absolutely over the moon with the event and super pumped to qualify for Grand Final in Whangarei in July.  

"It's the first time they’ve competed so it gives them a good base for the type and variety of questions," she said.  

"With a little bit more time up our sleeve, they’re talking about working better and communicating under pressure. They felt some of the things that went to the wayside a bit was when they felt the time pressure. " 

All three boys come from rural backgrounds and brought their own strengths to the team Hodgson noted, particularly as two of the boys had only met this week.  

Leighton's strengths were the practical aspects, Archie has a wide range of knowledge and Liam particularly enjoyed the academic-based animal aspects with two rural veterinary parents.  

"The biggest thing by far is that they all had fun and they all came away feeling like that they belonged as a team," Hodgson said.  

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest series Regional Final was held on Saturday in Te Awamutu.  

Under the red light system, each event was held separately and capped at 35 teams on rotation to comply with the 100 person capacity limit.  

The top two FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year teams and top three AgriKidsNZ teams have been invited to the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Whangarei this July.   

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest series would not be possible without support from our family of sponsors FMG, Ravensdown, Worksafe, MPI, Environmental Protection Authority, Honda, STIHL, Massey University, Lincoln University, New Holland and PTS Logistics.  

AgriKidsNZ results:  

1st - RD-SIXERS - Archie Keelty (St Patricks School), Liam Hodgson (Pirongia School) and Leighton Barnett (St Columbus School)            

2nd - Farm Bros from St Marys Putaruru - Sam Pacey, Nico Farrell and Fionn Croke 

3rd - Pukeatua Proud from Pukeatua School - Quintin Stockholmes, Regan Hemingway and Jackson Jones.  

FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year results:  

1st Ben Allen and Alex Purdie – Saint Paul's Collegiate 

2nd Kate and Finn Morton – Saint Paul's Collegiate  


Written by
NZ Young Farmers

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