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Young Farmers 2020
by Gerry Atkin - Friday, 8 April 2022, 11:15 AM

The PNBHS Young Farmers group promotes agricultural opportunities for young men with an interest in farming.  Unfortunately, COVID-19 curtailed a number of the group's activities, but there was a good level of interest in those that did take place.

Thanks to the leadership group of Marshall Burn, James Steele, Charlie Lourie, Jordon King and Manu Didsbury for their work during the year.  A highlight was the inaugural ‘Clash of the Colleges’ competition as part of the New Zealand Rural Games.  This was a great opportunity for our young men to test their skills and knowledge against competitors form a range of schools in the wider region. Congratulations to the team of Ethan Campbell, Tom Collier, Matthew Rowe and Nicolas Verry, who finished second in the junior competition.

Alongside the continued strong interest in the Young Farmers group, it has been fantastic to have an increased number of subject opportunities for young men who wish to pursue a career in farming.  The latest of these is the offering of Agri-Business at NCEA Level one in 2021 (it is already offered at NCEA Level Two and Level Three).  This will complement Agriculture/Horticultre, which has seen growth in numbers in recent years, as well as opportunities for senior students through STAR courses, gateway and Trades Academy and work experience opportunities through the Year 13 Employment Pathways programme.

In the last few years we have also seen an increase in young men leaving school to continue their agriculture training through cadetships at Otiwhiti, Waipaoa and Pukemiro stations.

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Young farmers palmerstonian report 2019
by Gerry Atkin - Friday, 8 April 2022, 11:11 AM

The Young Farmers Club provides an opportunity for young men with an interest in agriculture and farming to pursue their interests.  A particular focus is on providing opportunities for students to explore pathways into careers in these important New Zealand industries.  Another aim of the group is to provide leadership opportunities and to encourage the development of the skills associated with leadership.  The success of the club in recent years has primarily been because of the strength of student leadership, and this year was no exception.  Glenn Stringer, as club leader, was proactive and was well supported by an enthusiastic group of senior students who were keen to organise opportunities for the young men in the group, and also to offer encouragement to the younger members.  The numbers in the club continue to grow and the PNBHS Young Farmers would now be one of the largest co-curricular groups at school.  Some of the activities our young men were involved with during 2019 included:

·       PNBHS Young Farmers won the ‘Teen Ag’ competition at the annual Hunterville Shemozzle.

·       33 junior students took part in a Wetland planting organised by the Freshwater team at Horizons Regional Council, planting 1500 trees in a little over two hours.

·       PNBHS Young Farmer Alex Argyle was selected for a cadetship at Pukemiro Station in 2020 and will be one of the first two PNBHS students to train there.

·       Fourty young men competed in a regional Agri Sports Competition Day hosted by Feilding High School.  They were challenged in a variety of theory and practical based activities.  Although none of the PNBHS teams achieved ‘podium places’, Guy Petersen won the Gumboot Throw and Sydney Diamond was selected as the ‘Junior Competitor of the Day’.

·       Charlie Lourie, Jordon King and Glenn Stringer were selected to attend the three day ‘Raising the Standard’ Teen Ag leadership programme in Napier alongside 11 other Teen Ag members from the lower North Island.  The programme is designed to enhance the skills of emerging leaders within school based TeenAg clubs and was run by NZ Young Farmers.

·       PNBHS Old Boy Joseph Watts made a presentation at assembly about his journey from semi-professional sportsman to becoming a Rural Advisor based in the Hawke’s Bay and a finalist in the 2019 Young Famer of the Year competition.  There were some great messages about the importance of perseverance, hard work and building relationships.

·       A group of Young Farmers had a tour through the AFFCO meat works at Feilding and had the opportunity to find about some of the wide-range of career opportunities in the meat industry and some of the current and potential changes to the meat industry as a result of technology driven change and automation.

·       The ‘Forestry Big Day Out’ provided careers information about this growing employment sector in the local region.

·       Mr Charlie Duncan from Otiwhiti Station Land Based Training Agricultural School presented about the opportunities available there.  He brought recent Old boy Henry Bennik with him and Henry was able to give insight into the life of a cadet at Otiwhiti.

·       Old Boy and recent graduate from the Waipaoa Station Farm Cadet Training Station Toby Proude presented about his experiences and had some great advice for young men considering a cadet training pathway.

·       Liaison staff from Lincoln University presented about the range of pathways into agriculture careers through the university.

·       The Sort It Careers Expo provided an opportunity to get information from a range of career and training providers in the Agriculture industry.

·       A PNBHS team competed at the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games winning the Red Band Jandals Race.

·       A bus load of young men had the opportunity to attend the Central Districts Field Days to find information about future careers in agriculture and the primary industries.

·       Old Boy Jesse Gunn came into school for one of our Young Farmers meetings early in the year. Jesse began shepherding at Ngarata Station in Alfredton after leaving school at the end of 2017.

·       Agri Business was offered as a Level two subject at PNBHS this year, increasing the opportunities available to young men interested in Agriculture.

The range of opportunities in Agriculture at PNBHS have grown significantly in recent years.  Alongside the study of Agriculture and/or Horticulture in the classroom, a range of STAR courses are offered at Year 11, Agri Business at NCEA Level Two (and extending into Level Three in 2020), Primary Industries Trades Academy courses at Year 12, Gateway courses and farming or other Agriculture based work experience through the Employment Pathways Programme at Year 13.

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PNBHS Young Farmers - 2021 Palmerstonian Report
by Gerry Atkin - Friday, 8 April 2022, 11:08 AM

The range of opportunities for young men attending Palmerston North Boys’ High School who have an interest in Agriculture have broadened significantly in recent years.  As well as Agricultural and Horticulture Science (an option subject from Year 10 – Year 13), Agri-Business has been introduced in the senior school and Gateway, the PITO (Primary Industries Training Organisation) Trades Academy programme and work experience options through the Year 13 Employment Pathways Programme all assist young men to explore and transition into employment and further training. 

The activities of the PNBHS Young Farmers club support this by providing a range of opportunities for interested young men.  In 2021 these included:

Young men attended the Agri Futures Careers Day at the NZ Rural Games.  This included the completion of online careers activities intended to provide information about a wide range of future pathways in Agriculture.

A team of 48 (12 teams of four) competed in the Clash of the Colleges at the NZ Rural Games.  Teams completed a diverse range of modules being awarded points at each.  The team of Jock Chambers, Rory Watson, Rhys Mitchell and Nicolas Verry, were the winners of the junior competition, a superb effort considering the very large number of competitors from schools right across the Lower North Island.  The senior team of Brock Gledhill, Quinn Gledhill, Sam Lahmert and Josh Langridge, were the inaugural winners of the trophy for the gumboot throw competition.

For the first time the NZ Rural Games also included a Secondary Schools Shearing competition.  The PNBHS team of Zane Mumm, Aaron Christensen, Orlando Ratima and Jock Chambers enjoyed the experience of competing against other schools from the Manawatu, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Taranaki regions.

Senior students attended the Central Districts Field Days to complete the AgriQuest Challenge. This was an 'Amazing race' style challenge showcasing career opportunities in the primary industries. Students who successfully completed the challenge were eligible for a spot prize draw and it was great to see a significant number of young men receiving prizes

Charlie Duncan from Otiwhiti Station presented about the opportunities for farm training provided there while the frequent interactions with the PITO course providers exposed the growing number of young men involved to further Agriculture careers opportunities, with the Farm Careers ‘Taster Day’ being particularly popular.

A further Agriculture Taster Day was hosted by Massey University.  This included a laboratory task examining the different absorption rates between Tokomaru and Taranaki soils, part of a study looking at the environmental effects on waterways from fertilizer and effluent runoff in different parts of New Zealand, as well as visits to two Massey University dairy farms where students looked at a study around the nitrogen fixation levels of Plantain crops, a big advance in making cows urinate less frequently and in less concentrated areas to help create a more sustainable future for farming in New Zealand.

Feilding High School hosted an Agri Sports competition that saw 44 young men in 11 teams of four compete.  The team of Alex Baylis, Lucas Taylor, Nicolas Verry and Jamie Bennett, finished first equal in the junior competition, while team of Aaron Christensen, Remy Early, Quinn Gledhill and Hunta Gledhill placed second in the senior division.   The activities included: grading wool, assembling a handpiece, calculating a mortgage, calibrating a drench gun, brushing a horse, putting a water pipe together, safety checking a quad bike, seed selection and various farming theory challenges.  There was also an Agri-Olympics with wool sack races, egg throwing, tractor pulling and wheelbarrow races.

It is great to see the continued growth in interest in Agriculture amongst young men at PNBHS.  There are a wide range of career opportunities available and it is very rewarding to see a growing number of our students transitioning into this essential sector of New Zealand society.