Southland farmers take out national fencing competition

Two Southland lads have proven their fencing agility at the New Zealand Young Farmer Fencing Competition.

James Goodwin and Lyndon Wallace, who are both members of the Waitane Young Farmers Club, took the top prize at the competition in Timaru last weekend.

The pair were asked to build a 25 metre eight wire netting fence with a plain top wire and a swing gate.

Goodwin said the team benefited from the competition’s style of fencing because it was commonly used in Southland.

“We were probably pretty lucky this year that it was netting,” Goodwin said.

Both Goodwin and Wallace have been building fences as a part of their farming careers, as well as competing together regionally.

They won the Otago-Southland Young Farmer Fencing Competition at this year’s Southern Field Days in Waimumu.

Wallace has previously competed in two national finals when one of the Otago-Southland finalists was unable to do so.

The pair had not practised together before the competition, but had gotten some pointers from fencing contractors and through attending young farmer club training days.

When the competition began at 7.30am, the competitors were given three hours to complete their fences.

But there were a few complications throughout the competition.

Wallace said soil conditions were supposed to be sandy, but instead the ground was reclaimed and full of rocks and concrete chunks.

In light of this,  competitors were given a further hour to complete their fences, and instead of five line posts they only had to put in four.

Despite the last minute changes, it was tough work, Goodwin said.

One competitor had to compete with rocks covering all the holes he was trying to dig, he said.

But the boys maintained their spirit throughout the competition.

Wallace said they were reasonably confident they were in the top four and they felt like they had a competitive advantage with the netting.

One or two teams assembled their fences before the Southlanders had finished, which was the first time during the competition they had registered the time, Goodwin said.

“There’s a fine line between spending that extra time to go and tidy things up or to go a bit faster to finish on time,” Wallace said.

In the end, the Southland duo was victorious.

The only negative the judges pointed out to them was that one of their strainer posts was not straight, Wallace said.

“I think the main thing is just being consistent with everything.”


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