Fourth time lucky as Alan Harvey named Aorangi FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Posted by on 24 February 2019 | Comments


An Oamaru agricultural consultant has been named the Aorangi FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Alan Harvey, 27, took out the title after winning the fiercely-contested Aorangi regional final in Oamaru last night.

The event saw seven finalists tackle a series of gruelling modules, including a fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz.

It was his fourth attempt at winning a regional final.

Josh McAtamney, Alan Harvey and Campbell Sommerville.“It’s been an amazing journey, but I’ve had a massive support team behind me,” Alan told the audience.

“The other contestants put up a tough challenge.”

The prestigious contest has undergone a major overhaul since marking its 50th anniversary in Invercargill last year.

“We’re now showcasing all aspects of what it means to be a modern food producer,” said Te Radar.

Alan’s win netted him $12,000 worth of prizes, including an XR150 Honda farm bike. 

The Five Forks Young Farmers member also picked up a food production award and was named the most tech-savvy contestant.

Alan joined Agri Planz in February last year and moved home to his family’s sheep and beef farm in Oamaru.

Prior to that he was an agronomist with Agriseeds covering the Otago and Southland areas.

Alan has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours from Lincoln University and has worked overseas.

“I looked after a 400 hectare block of irrigated cotton in Australia. I have also worked on a ranch in Colorado in the United States,” he said.

Methven arable farmer Campbell Sommerville, 25, came second and won the award for championing environmental best practice.

Josh McAtamney, 30, who contract milks 950 cows at Carew and fattens bulls, placed third and took out the innovation award.

Methven stock manager Billy Dowle won the prize for outstanding leadership.

Alan Harvey’s win has secured him a spot in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Hawke’s Bay in July. 

“I need to work on my knowledge of the dairy sector ahead of then,” he said.

The Young Farmer of the Year is an iconic contest which began in 1969 and showcases the country’s agri-food sector.

The contest is supported by FMG, Ravensdown, Honda, WorkSafe, Zero Harm Farm, STIHL, Lincoln University, Massey University, Southfuels, Northfuels, Betacraft and New Holland.

*Editor’s note:

Alan has previously competed in two regional finals in Otago/Southland and one in the Tasman region.


Aorangi regional final results:

1st Alan Harvey

2nd Campbell Sommerville

3rd Josh McAtamney


Innovation Award: Josh McAtamney

People Award: Billy Dowle

Food Award: Alan Harvey

Environment Award: Campbell Sommerville

Technology Award: Alan Harvey