Caitlan Rhodes and Luci Grigg, heading to the FMG Junior Young Farmer Finals Caitlan Rhodes and Luci Grigg, heading to the FMG Junior Young Farmer Finals

Heading to Young Farmer finals

by Mike Isle

Four Canterbury high school students are preparing to compete in the coveted national final of a gruelling agri-food event.

Almost 30 students will converge on Hawke’s Bay this week for the hotly-contested FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.

The competition will be the culmination of months of preparation for St Andrew’s College student Jack Stokes.

“We’re really excited. It’s been a few years since a team from our school has made it through to the grand final, so it’s an amazing opportunity,” he said.

The 17-year-old will compete with fellow St Andrew’s College boarder Charlie Kinney, 18. The pair will fly to Napier next Thursday.

“We’ve had an unbelievable amount of support in the lead up to the event,” he said.

“We’ve been meeting weekly with our school’s two leaders of agriculture who’ve been quizzing us on our general and agricultural knowledge. It’s been really helpful.”

The duo will go head-to-head with Caitlin Rhodes, 17, and Luci Grigg, 17, from Rangiora High School.

“We’re starting to get a bit nervous, it’s not long now until the competition kicks off,” said Caitlin, who lives on a lifestyle block.

“We’ve been doing a lot of study and trying to grow our knowledge and skills as much as possible.”

It will be the first time both teams have competed at the grand final, which tests the practical and theoretical knowledge of the contestants.

The FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final will be held alongside the prestigious FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final and the AgriKidsNZ Grand Final, which will attract more than 60 students.