Two teams of students from the Mahurangi area took out the two top spots at the Northern Regional final of the 2022 FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year competition in Auckland on April 2.
Brother and sister, Grady and Lottie Collis, who live on a sheep and beef farm at Tauhoa, were the overall winners, while Tessa Berger, from Ahuroa, and Mary Innes, from Tauhoa, came second. All four are students at Mahurangi College.
Grady and Lottie’s mother Kaye said it was the second time the siblings had reached the national finals, with Grady, who is in Year 13, qualifying in the same competition last year and Lottie, now in Year 9, reaching the nationals in the AgriKidsNZ sector. That resulted in a trip to Christchurch for them both, but they won’t have to travel quite so far for the 2022 Grand Final, which takes place in Whangarei on July 8 and 9.
This was the first time that Tessa, 14, and Mary, 13, had entered the junior young farmer competition and they will be joining Grady and Lottie to compete in the Grand Final event.
All the entrants had to complete a number of different modules, answering questions on a wide range of different farming topics, from fire safety and stock management to cropping and mental health. Comedian Te Radar was MC on the day and he presented the winners with their prize packs of vouchers and other farming-themed goodies.
The Northern Regional junior final took place at Mount Albert Grammar School Farm, off Alberton Avenue in the city, and was held alongside the FMG Young Farmer of the Year and AgriKidsNZ finals.