From making pikelets to putting up an electric fence the interschool agricultural competition at Otiwhiti Station made for a good day out, Land Based Training schools and short course co-ordinator Jenny Molcsan says.

Ten teams of five from schools as far apart as Waikato and Wanganui turned out to compete on September 25 at Otiwhiti Station near Hunterville.

The station has one of three farm training schools run by private training establishment Land Based Training. It also has a very large woolshed suitable for all kinds of events in any weather. The 50 students and about 30 supporters had fine weather last week, and were outdoors for most of the day.

The Tongariro High School team, from Turangi, was last year's winner. Its team was fiercely competitive and won again this year, with a good margin. Second was one of the two Ruapehu College teams and a Wanganui High School team came third.

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The students were asked to do a range of rural tasks - riding quad bikes, handling sheep, straining wire, setting up an electric fence, cooking and answering questions in a general knowledge quiz. They were also treated to a barbecue lunch, and a selection of prizes.

The competition is in its 17th year, and last week's final follows three regional contests.

Mrs Molcsan said the event was good fun, but also gave young farmers of the future the chance to match their skills against others. "They demonstrated some good skills, team spirit and school pride."