Primary Industry

By Mrs Sarah Foley-Smith | Posted: Friday August 2, 2019

The greatest trip of all time!

The Primary Industry Academy has firmly cemented its place at the top of the food chain. Our tour of the Hawkes Bay introduced us to a whole new area of the primary sector with our group visiting:

  • Pan Pac forestry timber grading yard, sawmill and pulp processing
  • Arataki Honey
  • Turners & Growers Apple Orchard
  • Goat Milking & Kidding
  • Church Road Winery
  • Fencing tuition with Sean Bouskill - Golden Pliers and Silver Spades winner.

Along side all of this our Junior Young Farmers - Ben Chambers & Taylor Bird; Patrick Foley-Smith & Jacob Price, found time to study for the big day.

Competition Day Blog

Off to the Hastings Showgrounds in torrential rain. Crack out the Betacraft jackets and descend en masse. Apparently we look quite intimidating - mission accomplished! Patrick & Jacob, Ben & Taylor are allocated their farmlets and OMG perfect- it's exactly what we practiced with Greig & Callum last week at AgriLearn - assemble a K-line, make troughs out of rubbish bins, design the build so all components are used - T’s, elbows, reducers ... one chance to test for leaks. Many comments from the crowd about GHS's progress. Both teams finish well within the time limit with no leaks the first time - the only 2 teams to achieve this.

The modules followed - wool classing, tractor driving, insurance, soil deficiencies, safety checks, macro invertebrates and Nait questions. The 5 minute speech was worth the same amount of points as the entire farmlet so lots of pressure. Both teams happy with their talks” That Agriculture should be a compulsory subject in all schools”.  English Dept eat your heart out.

Meanwhile the supporters crew are let loose amongst the sponsors. Mrs Foley-Smith nervously awaits lost child announcements. The Ed Body challenge continues culminating in PR gold with Te Radar being given a hat.  His wardrobe is now complete.

Shane Bouskill, current Silver Spades Champion (NZ fencing doubles) joins the team. Shane and his son Tony are the dominant force in NZ and international fencing with Tony the current Golden Pliers Champion. Shane has won the Silver Spades 4 times and Golden Pliers 6 times. A massive coup to get Shane to coach the students for a couple of hours. Certainly the highlight of the trip so far.

Off to the theatre to find out who of the 14 teams have made it into the top 5. YES we did it- Patrick & Jacob head on stage for 5 rounds of buzzer questions in front of a packed theatre.

Prize Giving time - FIRST- Patrick & Jacob the highly coveted Practical modules

FIRST = Ben & Taylor, Patrick & Jacob Farmlet

3RD overall Patrick & Jacob

Patrick completes the double having taken out the Agrikids practical title back in the day.

All our hard work has been worthwhile. A massive thank you to our sponsors:

  • Rylib Farming Group
  • 4 Peaks Transport
  • Geraldine Lions & Lionesses
  • Rangitata Dairies
  • Agrilearn Training
  • Prt Blakely
  • Ed Body Fencing
  • Al Johnston Farming Solutions
  • High Street stitch & Print
  • Pye Group
  • Fresh Choice

Over the holidays I have thought about our adventure up north and ways to improve for next time. Often on a trip I get to the night before we go home and think “thank goodness this time tomorrow….” but not this time, every moment was worth while. If only everyone -community, parents and other staff, could have seen us in action. The boys were constantly calling in to ask how they could help- meals saw no fuss as a team sorted the kitchen, van, groceries, down loading photos ….and all with constant banter- it was a laugh a minute.

Also running a trip like this often has the expectation of being on duty 24 hours a day, constantly planning and trouble shooting. The help of Sally, Craig and Sheldon negated all of this. They were the dream team, happy to do anything asked of them and able to join in the banter. Awesome!

We have had some lovely messages from people who saw us at the Young Farmer come in over the holidays. Overwhelmingly people from other schools and industries want to know how we were able to bring such a large group of talented and polite young men, to be able to trust they would behave, follow instructions and not cause trouble, and be dedicated enough to fundraise such a large amount. Once again we were the clear leaders in the fashion stakes and retain our place as Betacraft’s preferred customers.

Several hosts voiced similar opinions:

I had the pleasure of looking after a group of your students that were up here in Hawkes Bay for ‘Young Farmer of the Year’.

They, along with their teachers/parents, visited the Winery last Saturday and I took them on a tour of the Winery. I just wanted to say how impressed I was with these young men. They were a super group to look after; well mannered, great sense of humour, and asked intelligent questions.

Of course all the glory would not be possible without you as parents doing such a great job with your sons by instilling respectfulness and all the other good traits we all want our children to have. A lot of the time our children act totally different with their peers and other adults than they do at home which is not seen by you as parents. It is good for parents to know they are doing the right thing by their children and the community. Well done everyone. You can be very proud of your sons.