Angus Grant’s younger sister Josie was not happy when he converted her playhouse into a chicken coop when he was eight-years-old.
But now it has all paid off. Angus and his schoolmate Nick O’Connor, won the national Teen Ag grand final, the high school version of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
The 16-year-old St Bede’s College student is a city boy hailing from Papanui who has been passionate about farming since he first watched Country Calendar when he was three.
When he was eight, he converted his sister’s playhouse into a chicken coop, started selling eggs and there his entrepreneurial passion for farming began.
At his peak, he had 80 hens, homed between his backyard and his dad’s building yard.
“I had customers every week, I went around on my bike and delivered them. I had a massive demand for the eggs so I didn’t have to go far to sell them,” he said.
His ninth birthday was different to most, his parents got him three ewes.
Fortunately, his friend who owned a horse let him graze them on his property.
Now, Angus has 160 breeding ewes split between six lifestyle blocks in Rolleston, Prebbleton and Harewood, which he leases.
During lambing season, he visits the stock every morning before school.
The boys’ teacher, John McPhail said the teammates complemented each other well.
Nick hails from a West Coast dairy farming background and is the nephew of Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.
“Nick’s a great
partner for the competition because he’s pretty good on the dairy side and I’m pretty good on the sheep side, so we balance each other out,” said Angus.
He shared his knowledge of tractor driving and fence building with Angus, which helped to secure the team first place.
Angus hopes to attend Lincoln University and study Agricultural Science or Agricultural Commerce with the goal of one day owning his own farm.