Gisborne teen is a Smedley cadet

OFF TO SMEDLEY: Alexander Kirkpatrick, a son from one of Gisborne’s prominent farming families, will start a two-year farm training programme at Smedley Station in Central Hawke’s Bay in the New Year and he cannot wait to get there. The 17-year-old was pictured out at the Showgrounds Park yesterday helping set up for the Terrier Races. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

The 17-year-old is the son of Simon Kirkpatrick and Karen Johnston of Gisborne.

He will join the other 10 first-year cadets to begin the two-year training programme in January at Smedley in Central Hawke’s Bay.

“As a family we are all absolutely proud of him,” his father said.

“I’m sure his grandfather JK will be looking down with a big smile on his face.”

Simon said his son had been very keen on farming since he was five-years-old.

“He used to spend a lot of time with his grandfather John Kirkpatrick (JK) on John and Bev’s family farm Aorangi, helping and learning from one of the best in the industry.”

Alexander attended St Marys Primary School, then Gisborne Intermediate and went to Napier Boys' High as a boarder.

“This year he was placed at Jamie Powdrell’s property near Wairoa every Monday for work experience through the Gateway programme at Napier Boys' High,” Simon said.

“That was a real benefit towards learning more about the industry.

“Alexander recently left school to pursue more work experience in the farming industry, and is currently working for Greg and Jennie Law on their farm Kainui at Tiniroto, as well as doing some casual work for Jamie at his farm Tawhara in Wairoa.”

Mr Kirkpatrick said for Gisborne people to make the Smedley course was fairly “few and far between”.

“So it’s a real achievement by him.”

Alexander applied with 80 others in July to Smedley for the 2019 intake of 11 cadets.

“His mum Karen and I attended one of the open days at Smedley in June to have a look around and we were impressed with what we saw.”

The young man himself said it was a real thrill to be selected.

“I was pretty stoked when I found out I had made it.

“I chose Smedley because I liked the look of it during the open day I attended with mum and dad, and I liked the way they do everything.”

Alexander said it was his intention to become a farmer in the future.

“I have grown up around a farming family and just last summer I did a bit of farm work, got into the Gateway programme, and that really convinced me that farming was what I wanted to do.

“I cannot wait for the course to start in January.”

The 17-year-old is the son of Simon Kirkpatrick and Karen Johnston of Gisborne.

He will join the other 10 first-year cadets to begin the two-year training programme in January at Smedley in Central Hawke’s Bay.

“As a family we are all absolutely proud of him,” his father said.

“I’m sure his grandfather JK will be looking down with a big smile on his face.”

Simon said his son had been very keen on farming since he was five-years-old.

“He used to spend a lot of time with his grandfather John Kirkpatrick (JK) on John and Bev’s family farm Aorangi, helping and learning from one of the best in the industry.”

Alexander attended St Marys Primary School, then Gisborne Intermediate and went to Napier Boys' High as a boarder.

“This year he was placed at Jamie Powdrell’s property near Wairoa every Monday for work experience through the Gateway programme at Napier Boys' High,” Simon said.

“That was a real benefit towards learning more about the industry.

“Alexander recently left school to pursue more work experience in the farming industry, and is currently working for Greg and Jennie Law on their farm Kainui at Tiniroto, as well as doing some casual work for Jamie at his farm Tawhara in Wairoa.”

Mr Kirkpatrick said for Gisborne people to make the Smedley course was fairly “few and far between”.

“So it’s a real achievement by him.”

Alexander applied with 80 others in July to Smedley for the 2019 intake of 11 cadets.

“His mum Karen and I attended one of the open days at Smedley in June to have a look around and we were impressed with what we saw.”

The young man himself said it was a real thrill to be selected.

“I was pretty stoked when I found out I had made it.

“I chose Smedley because I liked the look of it during the open day I attended with mum and dad, and I liked the way they do everything.”

Alexander said it was his intention to become a farmer in the future.

“I have grown up around a farming family and just last summer I did a bit of farm work, got into the Gateway programme, and that really convinced me that farming was what I wanted to do.

“I cannot wait for the course to start in January.”

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