TeenAg con­test over­hauled

Stratford Press - - The Country -

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year con­test is to un­dergo a ma­jor over­haul.

The TeenAg com­pe­ti­tion will be re­branded as the FMG Ju­nior Young Farmer of the Year, more tech­nol­ogy will be used in chal­lenges and there will be a big­ger em­pha­sis on food.

NZ Young Farm­ers con­test board chair­woman Re­becca Brown said the changes wouldn’t hap­pen overnight, but would give the board a clear di­rec­tion.

“There will still be a strong prac­ti­cal side to the con­test, but our mod­ules and chal­lenges need to utilise tech­nol­ogy more.

“In fu­ture, con­tes­tants might have to use GPS tech­nol­ogy to mark out and erect a fence around ri­par­ian plant­ing.”

Awards for the high­estscor­ing com­peti­tor in five cat­e­gories are also be­ing scrapped and re­placed with ones that as­sess knowl­edge across in­no­va­tion, food, peo­ple, en­vi­ron­ment and tech­nol­ogy.

The con­test just cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary and is the long­est-run­ning agri­cul­tural con­test in New Zealand.

NZ Young Farm­ers con­test board mem­ber Cole Groves said the con­test wouldn’t be rel­e­vant in an­other 50 years if changes weren’t implemented now.

“We want to ex­pand the con­tes­tants’ knowl­edge be­yond just fenc­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing dif­fer­ent types of fer­tiliser,” Groves said.

The changes will start at re­gional fi­nals early next year.

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