By DAVID HILL
A small North Canterbury school exceeded its expectations at last month’s young farmers event.
Waikari School, which has just 37 pupils, entered three teams in the New Zealand Young Farmers’ agrikids competition when it competed for the first time at the Malvern A&P Show at Sheffield late last month.
All three teams made the final seven for the race-off, with the Kool Keas placing second and Klassic Keas third to qualify for the national agrikids final. It will coincide with the 2021 FMG Young Farmer of the Year grand final in Christchurch in July. The third team, Krazy Keas, were seventh.
“We never even thought we would place in the top seven. We just thought we would go along and give it go,” says Waikari School office administrator Caryn Hunt, who accompanied the teams to Sheffield.
Kool Keas team member Finn Fricker was named “agrikid of the day”.
The final was taken out by Karetu Kidsfrom North Loburn School, which entered three teams in all, with the Gumboot Gangplacing fourth and the Tasman Tykes 16th.
North Loburn School has a long tradition in the competition, and principal Darren Ward is proud of his pupils’ achievements.
“They’re very excited. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been in the nationals, but we certainly punch above our weight in the competition.”
Places in the teams are sought-after among the Year 7/8 class, he says.
The agrikids completed a range of tasks, including changing quad bike tyres, naming agricultural plants and managing the heath and safety of a diesel tank leak.
Other rural modules challenged their knowledge of seasons, animal health and agricultural plants.