Gore student Leah Murray is preparing to tackle a new challenge in her final year of secondary school.

The 17-year-old will step up to lead Gore High School's growing TeenAg club.

"I'm really looking forward to taking over the role. It's something I'm quite excited about," said the Year 13 student.

"It's a big challenge which I'm going to use to help build my confidence."


Murray's predecessor is close friend Denby Lawlor, meaning she won't have to look far if she needs support.

"Being a TeenAg chair helped me develop as a person and it really honed my leadership skills," said Lawlor.

"I can't wait to support the new committee."

TeenAg clubs are a key part of the work being done by NZ Young Farmers to attract students into the agri-food sector.

There are almost 20 clubs in the Otago/Southland region.

Murray lives with her family on a 600 cow dairy farm at Mataura. She joined TeenAg in Year 10.

"The opportunities provided by being in the club are endless. Late last year we went on a field trip to Glen Islay Station," she said.

Murray and Lawlor will face a joint challenge just a fortnight into the school year.

The pair has signed up to compete in the Otago/Southland Regional Final of the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year.

The event is being held in Milton on February 16th alongside the regional final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

"It will be our third time competing together," said Murray.

Leah Murray (back) and Denby Lawlor. Photo / Supplied
Leah Murray (back) and Denby Lawlor. Photo / Supplied

The dynamic duo are passionate about the agri-food sector.

They will be the first students to study agribusiness when it's introduced as a subject at Gore High School next month.

"I'm considering becoming a rural banker," said Murray.

"I'm hoping to attend Lincoln University," added Lawlor.

"Being in TeenAg has really opened my eyes to the rewarding career opportunities in the primary industries."

Both girls grasp every opportunity they can to learn, and build their confidence and skills.

They've completed the Leadership Pathway Programme (LPP), which is a unique course run by NZ Young Farmers.

It has five modules focusing on fundraising, building a club's membership and events.

"I've never been a good public speaker, but doing the LPP and being club chair helped me come out of my shell," said Lawlor.

"It gave me the confidence to approach local businesses for funding and sponsorship."

TeenAg clubs and the Leadership Pathway Programme are funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP).