Rural schoolchildren will be hard out to prove they are the best junior farmers at the Central Hawke's Bay Show on Saturday.
Organiser Shane Tilson, of Hastings, said at least 12 schools would be represented in the competition based on the AgriKids competition which was a hit at the regional and grand finals of the Young Farmer of the Year contest. He said 25 teams of three were entered, seven from Elsthorpe School alone: "It's really taking off."
The preliminary heats on Saturday morning consist of five modules, including knowledge of New Zealand landmarks, putting together a kitset birdhouse, shooting netball goals in a set time, naming farm equipment, and maths and logic, which means working out a feed budget.
Then there's a general knowledge and current events round. "It's pretty intense."
These rounds reduce the field to the seven teams for the final, where they go to head to head.
In the next rounds, the teams will assemble a horse bridle and put it on a model horse head, build and swing a gate, wind up an electric fence, make a scarecrow and bag pinecones.
This will take about 40 minutes, after which the tired contestants will know who has won the first prize of $250, second of $150 and third of $100.
The competition tasks were thought up by Shane and his wife Susie and take a team of dedicated volunteers to put on. The junior farmer concept has become so popular that they are taking it to the Invercargill Royal A and P Show next month.
"There are 40 schools entered there so that will mean two days of heats alone."
Next March the regional finals for the Young Farmer of the Year start again and the AgriKids teams will be hard at work again.