Nine keen young farmers found their knowledge and skills severely tested on Saturday when they participated in the local Dannevirke competition to win a place in the East Coast Young Farmer's Regional Competition set for February 17, 2018.

The winner was Hamish Duff who had already featured in awards earlier in the year, winning Tararua Shepherd of the Year on April 28.

Kendall Erickson shows his skill on the motorbike.
Kendall Erickson shows his skill on the motorbike.

Organised by the Dannevirke Young Farmers Club, the competition took place at the Dannevirke Sale Yards and involved 10 modules testing a wide range of skills which pushed the entrants beyond their comfort zone.

Spilling water into a jug is not easy using tractor forks.
Spilling water into a jug is not easy using tractor forks.

Judge of the shearing, Jane Leogreen, said everyone would have benefited from the experience.

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* There was fencing (building a two wire fence),
* Herd reproduction (a questionnaire by LIC),
* Assessing real estate (For farms supplied examples),
* Shearing,
* Tractor skills (manipulating tractor forks to lift pig tails and deliver water to a container),
* Fire safety (assembling and using a fire hose),
* Honey operations (identifying types, assembling a hive),
* An interview,
* Bike knowledge( identifying faults) and
* Chainsaw skills (assemble and use an electric saw)
* Concluding with a quick-fire general knowledge quiz.

Aled Ellis, out in Dannevirke from Wales for a year, said he took part to gain experience and found all the competitions quite different from home.

Jeremy Lawson shears a hogget supplied by Chris Smythe.
Jeremy Lawson shears a hogget supplied by Chris Smythe.

President of Dannevirke Young Farmers, Mark Baxter, said it was really good to have so many entrants as well as the sponsors who came to help run the different modules and provide prize money, the principal sponsor being FMG.

Patrick Crawshaw operates Dannevirke Honda's electric Stihl chainsaw.
Patrick Crawshaw operates Dannevirke Honda's electric Stihl chainsaw.

He said it was these events which strengthen the club which is open to any young person, even without a farming background. With a membership of 30 the club is always keen to gain more and they can ring him on 06 374-2986.

The nine young farmers who competed. From left: Patrick Crawshaw, Robert Barry, Jeremy Lawson, Isabelle Hobbs, Kendall Erickson, Hamish Duff, Aled Ellis, Paul McLean, Willie Hill.
The nine young farmers who competed. From left: Patrick Crawshaw, Robert Barry, Jeremy Lawson, Isabelle Hobbs, Kendall Erickson, Hamish Duff, Aled Ellis, Paul McLean, Willie Hill.

The day concluded with a mechanical bull riding event at the Mangatera Hotel.

Willie Hill hits the target after assembling Weber Fire's equipment
Willie Hill hits the target after assembling Weber Fire's equipment