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All smiles . . . North Loburn School's Tasman Tykes, Tom Hassall (left), Jack Simpson and Isabella Cross, who were the runners up at the AgriKids grand final in Feilding earlier this month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By DAVID HILL

North Loburn School has produced another quality performance to finish runner up in the AgriKids grand final.

Competing in Feilding on Friday, July 7, the Tasman Tykes team of Tom Hassall, Isabella Cross and Jack Simpson, finished second out of 21 teams in the national Agrikids competition grand final, which coincided with the 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the Year grand final.

The result is the school’s best effort and was its six grand final appearance in the seven year history of the competition.

The “Karetu Kids” finished third overall in 2015.

Teacher Kate Hassall says the teams had to complete three different sections – observation, test and modules.

“The observation was a series of seven different activities involving such things as identifying weeds, when to plant vegetables and naming different types of irrigation.

“The test was 60 minutes long and was a mixture of true / false questions, multi choice questions and an essay.”

The modules comprised seven practical exercises including drafting lambs, setting the right drenching dose and drenching the lambs, constructing a pipe system from a ‘water tank’ to a water trough and ensuring the safe operation of a tractor.

The top seven teams were then chosen to compete in a ‘race off’, which involved seven practical activities “where completing the activities to a high standard and speed counted”, Kate says.

“They started with a sprint to the finish line, picking up a hay bale and bringing it back to the start line.

“They then constructed a gate and hung it, jumped in a wool fadge to a bunch of potatoes and onions, bagged and tied the potatoes, put a milking machine together, bobbed for apples, constructed a puzzle and finally guzzled a lamb’s bottle of water – through a lambs teat.

“They finished in the top three in the race off and their second place was announced that evening at the Agrikids and TeenAg prizegiving at Fielding Agricultural High School.”

Kate says both North Loburn School teams, the Tasman Tykes and the Gumboot Gang (Alex Herlihy, Georgia Stephens and Liam Murphy) “thoroughly enjoyed their experience and would like to sincerely thank their sponsors – Beef and Lamb New Zealand, Rural Woman Support and Brown Glassford and Co Ltd Accountants”.