Teens perform well at Ag-Teen
Horticulture is a subject which is gaining momentum.
For six, Year 10 Matamata College students, it’s become even more popular judging by results from the recent Ag-Teen competition.
Year 10 entrants were Rory Mclaren, Don Smitstra, Cameron Jacobson, Callum Nisbitt, Rachael Scott and Symantha Christini.
They competed in pairs and were coached by Matamata College horticultural science head Ravnesh Chand.
Rory and Don placed second at the recent Waikato/BoP Ag-Teen agriculture competition in Te Awamutu.
It is one of the regional competitions, from which the top three teams, including Rory and Don will battle it out at the North Island champs.
These competitions are precursors to the New Zealand Championship.
Teen Ag, is part of NZ Young Farmer.
Its goal is to show the stimulating and fun side of agriculture.
Entrants competed in cow milking, tractor driving, fencing, duck shooting and reading labels on bottles of chemical.
Chand said he was very proud of the teams, some of whom had never experienced the hands-on activities.
First-timer Rachael, was named competitor of the day.
‘‘She was really into all the activities, put her heart into them and was standing out of the crowd,’’ said Chand.
He said Rory and Don received 24/24 in both fencing and tractor driving.
Chand is passionate about horticultural science and hopes that passion filters down to his students.
He is trying to spread the message that horticulture is just as important as other subjects in the school.
‘‘It’s creating more interest in the subject, helping them see there is more to agriculture than just farming and getting hands dirty.
‘‘Agriculture seems to be a subject kids go to if they can’t decide where to go.’’
He said class numbers had increased significantly over the last five years.
‘‘They want to be there, they look forward to being there,’’ he said. their
Don Smitstra shows his tractor driving abilities. He and team mate Rory Mclaren placed second in the Ag-Teen agriculture competition.