East Coast workmates clash in FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Final

Posted by on 7 February 2018 | Comments

Two central Hawke’s Bay workmates will go head-to-head in the East Coast Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Hugh Abbiss and Patrick Crawshaw are employed by Foley Farming Enterprises, which is a 1,200 hectare intensive sheep and beef breeding and finishing property.

“We run 2,500 breeding ewes, finish 32,000 lambs and have up to 1,500 trade cattle, plus we grow a small amount of cash crop,” said Hugh who’s the operations manager.

Patrick joined the agricultural business as a block manager in July 2017.

“I’m only 24-years-old and Hugh’s 25, so he’s got a full year’s more experience than me,” laughed Patrick.

The pair both graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) majoring in farm management.

Patrick described entering the prestigious contest as a valuable learning experience, helping broaden his skill set.

“I enjoy a challenge and it gives you exposure to different industries,” he said.

Patrick got a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in 2017, spending time as runner-up Hamish Best’s official bag carrier.

“It was an interesting insight into how gruelling the competition is at that level,” said the 24-year-old.

Hamish, who’s now an elected member on the NZ Young Farmers board, is housemates with Hugh.

“He’s my main motivator to get involved and keep going. I get a lot of support and encouragement from him,” said Hugh.

Hugh and Patrick first clashed at a regional final in early 2017, several months before they became work colleagues.

“We’re both competitive, but I reckon we’ll probably put in a bit of practice together at some stage,” said Hugh.

Patrick plays hockey competitively and Hugh’s completed 10 full marathons in New Zealand.

The pair will go up against six other contestants; Ben Thomas, Brandon Giddens, Hamish Duff, Richard Falloon, Robbie Hill and Rob Barry.

The regional final is being held at the Masterton A&P Showgrounds on February 17th. The evening show, hosted by Te Radar, is at the Wairarapa College Hall.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the iconic agricultural competition which was first held in 1969.


For further details please contact:

Brad Markham

Communications Manager

New Zealand Young Farmers

021 214 0703 | brad.markham@youngfarmers.co.nz