Limehills School has been front and centre in the Southern Rural Life Farm Innovation Awards in previous years and school principal Jim Turrell says it is keen to continue its success in next year's awards at the 2020 Southern Field Days, which will be held on February 12-14, 2020, alongside the Agri Centre at Waimumu.

''Our pupils mainly come from a farming background and with that comes a strong practical outlook,'' he said.

''The awards provide a great opportunity for the kids to learn about new things and have new experiences.''

Limehills School pupils (from left) Cooper Mitchell (11), Ben Cairns (10), and Danny McDonald (11) show off their certificate and medal from their win in the AgriKidsNZ Regional Finals at Milton.
Limehills School pupils (from left) Cooper Mitchell (11), Ben Cairns (10), and Danny McDonald (11) show off their certificate and medal from their win in the AgriKidsNZ Regional Finals at Milton.

He said an example of this was during the last contest, some of the pupils had to engage directly with Fonterra as part of their project.

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The school centres the competition around its annual pet day.

''In fact, pet day is more like a mini A&P show for us, with indoor arts and crafts displays and competitions.''

He said the one thing lacking in its involvement in the Southern Rural Life Farm Innovation Awards has been the commercialisation of any of the inventions, but that is something to look forward to in the future.

Inventions are judged in each classroom and the top ones are selected for entry in the awards.

There has obviously been a strong farm focus in the entries.

Alfie Cowie (10) came up with a container to keep meals hot in the tractor, the device being heated via a USB connection of battery cable.

Assisting his father to keep standards under control led Ben Cairns (10) to come up with a holder that screwed on to the back of a quad bike.

''Dad used to lose standards all the time and the frame has worked well, even if it's a bit worse for wear now,'' Ben said.

Meg Howard (10) came up with a boot washer, complete with hose and a hand support, which she said worked well during tests.

Mr Turrell said the award provided a great opportunity to encourage problem solving for the children.

Success in the Southern Rural Life Farm Innovation Awards is not the only thing the school has achieved.

A group from Limehills School, Cooper Mitchell (11) Ben Cairns and Danny McDonald, won the Otago/Southland AgriKidsNZ regional finals in Milton on February 16.

Southern Rural Life Farm Innovation Awards features three sections:

The Open Section is where anyone can compete and has a $500 first prize and $200 for second.

The Primary School Category has two $50 prizes as well as the $500 school challenge prize.

The Number 8 Wire section provides farmers with a chance to showcase their own on-farm innovations.

Southern Rural Life