Females challenging hard for Northern FMG Young Farmer of the Year title

Posted by Nadine Porter on 29 November 2016 | Comments

Two females are in hot contention to make the Grand Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year after winning a place into the Northern Regional Final. 

Franklin Young Farmer Lisa Kendall shone in the Lower North District Contest and Skills Day and eventually came second to Kaipara Young Farmer Colin Beazley.  

However the 24-year-old is expected to be a force to be reckoned with at the Regional Final on the 18th March particularly in the technical sections of the Contest. 

Kendall owns and manages Nurture Farming Ltd which provides agricultural support services to farms and lifestyles blocks around Franklin. 

Originally from Karaka she holds Diplomas in Agriculture and Farm Management and a Certificate in Rural Machinery. 

Joining Kendall will be Rachel Blackleywho finished third in the Upper North District Contest and Skills Day.  

The 24-year-old is also likely to thrive in the theory components required in a Regional Final as a Massey University graduate with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science.  

An assistant manager on a 460 cow dairy farm in Matarau for Douglas Farms she is likely to get a lot of help with farm manager Jake Thomson and farmer Ian Douglas being Grand Finalists in 2016 and 2013. 

But first the girls have to overcome some stiff competition with Lower North winner Colin Beazley no slouch when it comes to the Contest, having finished fourth at the Regional Final twice before. The 29-year-old will be hoping that three times is a charm. 

A 50/50 share-milker from Wellsford with 350 dairy cows, Beazley has all round skills after growing up on a sheep and beef farm in North Hokianga. 

Third place getter in Lower North, Daniel Richards, 19, has come through the TeenAg Contest ranks before moving up to the FMG Young Farmer of the Year last year.  

A dairy farm assistant at Tomarata, Richards has youth on his side and may be the dark horse of the field. 

Jack Thomas rounds up the four that will now go on to compete at the Regional Final. Originally from Christchurch he holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture and has worked on a dairy farm before taking up a position with PGG Wrightson Fruitfed in Kumeu. 

Although this is his first year competing in the Contest, Thomas follows on from his brother Angus who competed in 2014 and came third in the same year that the eventual Northern winner, David Kidd, became the first from the region to win the FMG Young Farmer of the Year. 


The final line-up of contestants for the Northern Regional Final is: 

Colin Beazley, Lisa Kendall, Daniel Richards, Jack Thomas (Lower North, Kurtis Danks, Clement Lafon, Rachel Blackley, Ryan Marsh (Upper North). 


How the FMG Young Farmer of the Year works: 

400 contestants will compete in 22 District Contest and Skills Day nation-wide where they can opt to 'Have a Go' which means they cannot progress to the next level – or they can enter competitively. 

56 contestants will compete in seven regional finals from Northern, Waikato-Bay of Plenty, Taranaki-Manawatu, East Coast, Tasman, Aorangi, Otago-Southland from February to April. 

The seven winners of the regional final will go the Grand Final in July 2017 at Manawatu. 

In 49 years only three females have ever made the Grand Final: 

Denise Brown who placed seventh in 1981 

Louise Collingwood who was RUNNER UP and third place in 2003 and 2001 

Katherine Tucker placed seventh in 2012 

For more information please contact Nadine Porter, Communications Manager on 021 2140703 or email nadine.porter@youngfarmers.co.nzLisa Kendall 2nd Lower Northrachel blackley 3rd upper north