A Canterbury pair has out-skilled 13 other teams, to take out the title as 2020 FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year.

Jack Coakley and Mac Williams from St Bede's College were crowned the winners after a week's worth of challenges.

"We put a lot of hard work in this week so to come out with the result we got was an incredible feeling" Coakley said.

Coakley and Williams entered Friday June 12 morning in 5th place and Williams said they tried their hardest throughout the day.

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"It's really rewarding to be able to compare your skills to others around the country, and prove to yourself what you can do when you put your mind to it and take your passion to the next level".

Guy Von Dadelszen and Tristin Peeti- Webber from Napier Boys' High School came in second, representing the East Coast region.

Northern cousin duo Nick and Zoe Harrison from Okaihau College were awarded third.

Nicole Wakefield-Hart and Hannah White from Geraldine High School took out the FMG People's Choice Award with their special video.

The FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final started on Saturday June 13, where the two teams in each region, went head to head creating a tumble composter from a barrel for the farmlet challenge.

The lifting of Alert Levels and restrictions allowed this to go ahead, with help from Young Farmers volunteers who hosted and judged the regional challenges.

Speech topics were handed out during the week and innovation projects were handed in on Wednesday, before the big Grand Final day on Friday.

The 14 teams presented their speeches, undertook an exam and competed in a series of modules.

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These included soil science based modules, animal welfare, environment and farm planning, identifying risks with WorkSafe, studying the Future of Farming report and developing biosecurity plans for farms.

The speech topic was based around carbon emissions and water quality relating to food production in New Zealand and in the Innovation Project, teams had to produce a business plan and five minute marketing presentation on how they would develop and diversify a 250ha property in the current Covid-19 local market.

"The farmlet was pretty hard, we got a different set of equipment compared to others but it was alright in the end, we found that very, very tough actually" Williams said.

He enjoyed the innovation project, saying it wasn't things you'd usually get to do as a teenager.

They broke the 250ha farm down into 40ha of sheep milking 170ha of lamb finishing and 15ha of market garden.

"We came up with an idea of producing and selling our own meat for value add, an abattoir and our own sheep milking processes".

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"We learnt a lot actually, the biosecurity module made me think a bit more and I managed to use a farm that I work on as a base for it".

The pair thought the hardest part of the week was the preparation and time management.

"We put so much work into it to try and make sure we got top marks for everything - that was the hardest part about it; the work we had to put in" Coakley said.

"I thought online was actually a really cool way of doing it, it was super smoothly run so we didn't have any difficulties with any technological issues and it was different to how it was run in previous years which made it really exciting and new".

Three South Island FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Regional Finals and the Grand Final were all forced to either be cancelled or moved online when Government restrictions around events started coming into place in March.

New Zealand Young Farmers CEO Lynda Coppersmith said the quick decision was made, to move everything online and deliver a contest for Teen Ag members, alongside the AgriKids contest for primary school children.

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Organising to host the event online for the first time created some new challenges to work through, Coppersmith said.

"Working with two contests, 35 teams, 12 sponsors, 14 modules as well as all the other tasks was a huge logistical undertaking. It took a lot of things to fall in to place, a lot of people to make it work and a really strict time frame".

"The events team has done the most amazing job to pull this off and I cannot thank them enough, along with our sponsor family and volunteers for all the hard work they all have put in to make both events happen and run seamlessly".

Coppersmith said while nothing could replace the excitement and atmosphere of a physical contest, it was still a very exciting Grand Final with the Face Off and Awards Ceremony live streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

"We are very thrilled we were able to reformat parts of the contest to be able to deliver some champions for 2020".

After finishing school, Williams plans to head to Massey University to study veterinary, meanwhile Coakley wants to head further south to Lincoln University and is currently tossing up what agricultural based degree to study.

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The FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year contest is made possible by the support of FMG, Ravensdown, Honda, WorkSafe, PTS, STIHL, Lincoln University, Massey University, Southfuels/Northfuels, Betacraft, MPI and New Holland.

Full Results

1st
Mac & Jack – Mac Williams and Jack Coakley, St Bede's College.

2nd
Von D & Triddy – Guy Von Dadelszen and Tristin Peeti-Webber, Napier Boys' High School.

3rd
Cuzzies – Nick and Zoe Harrison, Okaihau College

FMG People's Choice Award
Nicole Wakefield-Hart and Hannah White, Geraldine High School.

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