Fierce competition for Timaru dairy farmer in FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Posted by on 8 January 2019 | Comments

Tags: ,

A South Canterbury dairy farmer is facing stiff competition in his bid to make it to the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.

Adam Judd, 28, is one of eight contestants who’ll face off in the Aorangi regional final of the prestigious contest next month in Oamaru.

The vice-chair of Timaru Young Farmers is an assistant manager on a 720-cow dairy farm at Pleasant Point.

This will be his third attempt at winning the regional final.

“I really enjoyed competing last year. I’m hoping that having done it before will give me a bit of an advantage,” said Adam.

But four of the other contestants also have experience competing in hotly-contested regional finals.

Josh McAtamney, 30, contract milks 950 cows and fattens bulls at Carew. It will be the former shepherd’s second time competing.

He was runner-up in last year’s event.

“I enjoy the practical modules and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into this regional final. It should be exciting,” said Josh.

The pair will face-off against Alan Harvey, 27, who’s an Oamaru-based agricultural consultant with Agri Planz.

It’s the former agronomist’s fourth attempt at clinching a coveted spot in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.

“I grew up watching the contest on television and it’s an event I’ve always aspired to be a part of,” he said.

Alan has worked on a high-yielding 400-hectare irrigated cotton farm and harvested grain in Australia.

Timaru dry stock farmer William Ellis, 28, has also spent time planting canola, wheat and barley across the Tasman.

“It’s anyone’s game going into the regional final. It looks like it will be evenly contested again this year,” said William.

The Aorangi regional final will take place on February 23rd.

Contestants will tackle a series of gruelling practical and theoretical modules at the Oamaru A&P Showgrounds.

It will be followed by a dinner and fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz hosted by Te Radar at the Loan and Merc.

The other four regional finalists are Campbell Sommerville, Ezekiel Turner, Billy Dowle and Kerry Watson.

Campbell Sommerville, 25, works on a 600-hectare arable farm in Methven, growing wheat, barley, peas, fodder beet, kale and grass seed.

Ezekiel Turner, 26, is a stock manager at the sprawling 3800-hectare High Peak Station in the Rakaia Gorge.

Billy Dowle, 26, farms across the Rakaia River from Ezekiel. He’s a stock manager at Redcliffs Station, which runs about 3800 Merino ewes and 240 Angus cows.

Kerry Watson, 27, grew up on a sheep and beef farm in the United Kingdom and is a farm assistant on a 400-cow dairy farm at Five Forks.

The Aorangi event is the second of seven regional finals being held across the country between February and April.

The regional winners will face off at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Hawke’s Bay in July.