Waitaki App

Duntroon girls impress with farming feat

Waitaki App

Ashley Smyth

07 March 2024, 8:39 PM

Duntroon girls impress with farming featAorangi AgriKidsNZ competition host Te Radar presents (from left to right) Olivia Strachan, Leah Wilson and Greer Neal (all 11) with their winners' prizes. Photo: supplied

Three Duntroon School pupils are further proof that girls can do anything, after they were crowned 2024 Aorangi AgriKidsNZ champions.

The Milking Manics, Olivia Strachan (Year 7), Leah Wilson (Year 7) and Greer Neal (Year 8), finished top of the 34 teams who entered the competition, Duntroon School principal Mike Turner said.

Duntroon entered three teams aged between years 6 and 8, and it was the first time it had teams in the competition, held in Kurow in mid-February as part of Aorangi Young Farmer of the Year.

The Milking Manics are now eligible to compete in the national finals, being held in Hamilton in July, alongside the Young Farmer of the Year finals.

Mike said the teams were given a "tips and tricks sheet" of things they might be asked to do, prior to the event.

They didn’t really have a chance for any preparation during school time, except for having a go at using the leaf blower, he said.


But the leaf blowing practice turned out to pay dividends - with the event part of the lineup of challenges, which also included an obstacle course, putting a wooden gate together, fire risk identification, native plant identification, and a feeding ratio task, among other things.

“After all the round robin competition there was a race off, which they actually came first in,” Mike said. 

“This was the final and, with the points from the earlier rounds added to the score, made them the winners.”

The girls now have a new challenge facing them - raising funds to get to Hamilton. They are responsible for paying their own way, and have a few ideas, but are also looking for sponsorship from local businesses.

“If any North Otago agri-businesses are keen to support these girls with this amazing opportunity, please get in touch,” Mike said.