A former Napier Boys' High School student who completed his secondary schooling in Wellington carried off the top prize at the Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm's annual prizegiving held before Christmas.
Will van Bohemen, who isn't from a farm, spent two years at NBHS before going to Wellington College, said Rob Evans, manager of Smedley Farm, which caters for more than 20 first and second-year cadets each year on a sprawling property in the hills near Tikokino in Central Hawke's Bay.
Mr van Bohemen, who won the much-sought Affco scholarship to the UK, has a brother farming on the Rangitaiki Plains and is "very committed" to farming, said Mr Evans after the prizegiving in front of more than 100 family and friends of cadets in the station's woolshed on December 15.
"Farming is definitely his passion," Mr Evans said.
In addition to the recognition for his all-round excellence, Mr van Bohemen claimed several other prizes highlighting some versatility, from academic honours to the Ann and Paul Evans prize for best performances in sheep dog trials at the Royal Show in Hastings and the Central Hawke's Bay Show in Waipukurau and the Deer Industry NZ prize and Brent Norwell Memorial Cup for his ability with deer and interest in the production of velvet.
The other major winner was Tommy Stevenson, who claimed the Affco and Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce proficiency award, and others including the top honour for stockmanship.
The guest speaker was Vet Services Hawke's Bay managing director Richard Hilson, and representatives of sponsors, including Affco, were present.
Mr Evans said the involvement of the sponsors was a particularly important aspect of the programme and the prizegiving.
While the cadets head home for the holidays, several destined for diploma and other studies at Lincoln University near Christchurch, the farming goes on at Smedley.
There will be weaning early in January and the arrival of a new intake of 11 cadets in the first fortnight of the year to join the 2017 intake in their second year.
Mr Evans said all the second-year cadets would have their own dogs.
Some were likely to compete in sheep dog trials during the year as they developed an interest in agrisports, which also included farm fencing under instructor, Golden Pliers winner and former world champion Shane Bouskill, and some shearing.
In the winter, Smedley also supplies the bulk of the Colts players for Onga-Tiko rugby club.
2017 Smedley Graduation and Prizegiving
Smedley Station Shield for Teamwork awarded to first or second year cadets who have worked best as a team and have been helpful and effective in their performance of hostel duties: Cody Mackinder and Angus Bennett.
Bay Motorcycles Waipukurau Prize awarded to the cadet showing the most interest in, care with, and responsibility with machinery: Jamie Arnold. Ag Pro NZ Ltd Prize awarded to the cadet showing the most care with and safety of agrichemicals: Rory Harrigan.
H.R.I Schaw Memorial Cup awarded to the cadet judged to be best all round and most willing woolshed worker in handpiece work, wool handling, other woolshed work, and willingness in doing so: Gay Latham.
Boustead Trophies awarded to the most dedicated dog handlers: Henry Wilson (Heading dogs), Tommy Stevenson (Huntaway).
Ann and Paul Evans Prize awarded to the cadet with the best aggregate from the Hawke's Bay and Central Hawke's Bay A&P Shows dog trials: Will van Bohemen.
P & K Wagstaff Prize awarded to the cadet who put in the most effort and dedication to break in a horse: Cody Mackinder.
Ian Solley Memorial Trophy awarded to the second year cadet for top horsemanship: Angus Higgins.
Deer Industry NZ Prize and Brent Norwell Memorial Cup awarded to the cadet for ability in handling of deer and interest in the production of velvet antler: Will van Bohemen.
Ballance Agri-Nutrient Award for Stockmanship awarded to the second year cadet showing most potential with stock: Tommy Stevenson.
Stephenson Transport Prize awarded to the second year cadet showing good all round general farm skills: Jonty Wilson.
Farmlands Award for the second year cadet judged to be the most co-operative and improved: Will Pinkney.
John Borrie Shield and Smedley Ex Cadets Bridle awarded to the first year cadet who proved to be industrious and most co-operative: Fergus Smith.
Beef & Lamb NZ and Eastern North Island Farmer Council Prize awarded to the first year cadet who gained top academic marks: Jamie Arnold.
PGG Wrightson Handpiece and Kevin Monk Memorial Cup awarded to the first year cadet displaying general excellence and high achievement in farm practice and theory: Angus Bennett.
Central Hawke's Bay A&P Bursary awarded to the runner-up top academic Smedley Cadet undertaking further tertiary education: Rory Harrigan.
Phil Lamason Memorial Scholarship awarded to the top academic Smedley Cadet undertaking further tertiary education: Will van Bohemen.
Vet Services Prize awarded to the second year cadet runner-up in academic mark: Rory Harrigan.
EIT Academic Prize awarded to the second year cadet with the top academic marks: Will van Bohemen.
Smedley Station Leadership Trophy awarded to the second year cadet who shows the highest qualities of leadership: Cody Mackinder
Smith Family and Smedley Station Team Player Trophy awarded to the cadet displaying best team player qualities: Tommy Stevenson.
AFFCO and Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce Annual Proficiency Award for the second year cadet displaying all round excellence: Tommy Stevenson.
AFFCO UK Scholarship Award: Will van Bohemen.
2017 Graduating Cadets: Jordan Finlay, Rory Harrigan, Angus Higgins, Oliver Jonasen, Cody Mackinder, Will Pinkney, Thomas Stevenson, Paul Tahau, Will van Bohemen, Henry Wilson, Jonty Wilson.
2018 Rabobank Scholarships: Rory Harrigan, Ollie Johansen, Cody Mackinder, Will Pinkney, Tommy Stevenson, Will van Bohemen.