FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Finalist: Will Taylor

Posted by on 30 May 2018 | Comments

It’s only taken Will Taylor two years to turn a bare block of land on the outskirts of Feilding into a productive lamb finishing unit.

The technical field representative for PGG Wrightson bought the rundown 20-hectare parcel of land in October 2015.

Since then, the 26-year-old’s spare time has been spent fencing, building yards and a woolshed, and improving soil fertility.

“I’ve been fattening between 500 and 600 lambs every 12 months on this block of land,” said Will.

The Taranaki/Manawatu FMG Young Farmer of the Year credits his use of crops for boosting the amount of feed grown per hectare.

“I grow a bit of everything here,” he said.

“I’ve grown different types of rape, leafy turnips, red clover, chicory, a chicory/clover mix, and I’ve experimented with new grass species.”

“It’s great being able to take what I learn in my day job and apply it on my own property,” he said.

Will joined PGG Wrightson in August 2017.

“My weekdays consist of helping dairy and dry stock farmers with their agronomy, animal health, chemical and cropping needs,” he said.

“I’ve learned a tremendous amount since I started in the role.”

“I know for a fact that if I wasn’t doing my current job, I would not have made it through to grand final,” said the former tractor salesman.

The Marton Young Farmers member said it took a while for his win at the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final in Wellington to sink in.

“I was in shock for a couple of weeks,” he laughed.

“I’m starting to get used to the fact that I’m heading to Invercargill for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.”

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Will’s advice to other young farmers is to never pass up an opportunity.

“I went through school thinking driving tractors was going to be my lifelong career,” he said.

In 2009 he moved to Western Australia, where he spent three years driving tractors and combine harvesters.

“But then when different opportunities came up, I grabbed them, and I’ve ended up where I am now,” said Will.

Will grew up on a sheep and beef farm north of Feilding and once worked as a cocktail bartender in Palmerston North.

He said the support of his family and friends has been instrumental in the success of his farm and his contest achievements.

The keen smallbore target rifle shooter urges other NZ Young Farmers members to give the contest a go.

“Get into it. Don’t hold back, there’s nothing to be scared of. I have learned a lot from doing two regional finals,” he said.

“It’s helped to broaden my knowledge of the primary industries.”