FMG Young Farmer of the Year kicks off this weekend!

Posted by Nadine Porter on 27 September 2016 | Comments

It's a new FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest season with District Contest and Skills Days about to take place – and everyone is being asked to 'Have a Go'.

Starting in October in Canterbury, 400 NZ Young Farmer members will compete around New Zealand in 22 contests.

From there the numbers will be whittled down to just 56 of the top competitors who will then go on to Regional Finals that begin in February in the Otago/Southland region.

The eventual winners of those Regional Finals will then compete for New Zealand's most prestigious primary industry title – the FMG Young Farmer of the Year, in July in Manawatu.

Contest Chairman Dean Rabbidge, a Wyndham farmer, said this year the District Contest and Skills Days were all about having fun while learning new skills.

"The District Contests are held in a more relaxed atmosphere than regional finals and can be a fantastic experience for everyone. We really want to see as many people as possible 'having a go'."

Mr Rabbidge said there was something for everyone when competing.

"From putting a handpiece together, to milking a cow, or applying First Aid, there is a wide range of activities that anyone can put their hand up to do. The whole point of the District Contest and Skills Days is to learn something new."

This year there will be several entrants encouraged to enter around the country who might not have done otherwise, including Hannah Falconer – a 26-year-old employee at NZ Young Farmers national office.

Although initially raised in a rural background, Hannah has no experience at farming in her career as a brand and sponsorship co-ordinator and reflects the growing membership base of Rural Professionals within the Young Farmer organisation.

"I'm really looking forward to it and think it will be lots of fun and who knows – I might do better than I expect! This year's FMG Young Farmer of the Year, Athol New, entered a District Contest three years ago for a laugh and ended up winning it this year and he didn't come from a farming background!"

Hannah said she would love to see lots of females, and a diversity of cultures entering.

"Ultimately it would be great to see a broad representation competing as that very much reflects the New Zealand Primary Industry today. We have strong immigrant communities who are the workforce backbone in some industries and it would be fantastic to see them entering."

She urged farm owners to get employees to register online at

"It's worth it just for the people you meet."


For more information, please phone Nadine Porter, Communications Manager, NZ Young Farmers on 0212147003 or have a go