Hawke’s Bay to host 2019 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final

Posted by on 10 July 2018 | Comments

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Hawke’s Bay is set to host the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final for the first time in 16 years.

It’s been confirmed Hastings and Napier will play host to the national final of the iconic contest in July 2019.

The announcement was made at this year’s grand final in Invercargill on Saturday night.

“This is fantastic news,” said Waipukurau dairy farmer Kahlia Fryer, who’s the chair of the East Coast region of NZ Young Farmers.

“Hosting the event will provide a big economic boost to the hospitality sector in our region.”

The last grand final in Hastings was in 2003.

“Hawke’s Bay is a major food bowl with amazing diversity,” said NZ Young Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland.

“The region’s famous for its award-winning vineyards and is teeming with producers of top quality fruit, vegetables and meat.”

“There is a real opportunity for that diversity to be showcased in the modules tackled by grand finalists next year,” he said.

The contest has just celebrated half a century of testing the knowledge and stamina of young food producers.

Logan Wallace was named the 50th FMG Young Farmer of the Year in front of a crowd of 1,000 people.

“We’re now looking ahead to the next 50 years and how we refocus to integrate more technology and innovation,” said Terry.

“It’s incredibly important for us to reflect that New Zealand’s food production isn’t just about meat and milk.”

Woodville farmer and banker Rebecca Brown, 34, chairs the board which oversees the running of the prestigious contest.

“Horticulture and viticulture are an important part of the Hawke’s Bay economy and it will be exciting to see how those two sectors are incorporated into next year’s grand final,” she said.

“It’s going to be hard to top the 50th FMG Young Farmer of the Year organised by the Otago/Southland region.”

Napier City Council is looking forward to having the iconic contest take place on Hawke’s Bay soil.

“We are proud to welcome the grand final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year to Hawke’s Bay,” said Napier’s mayor Bill Dalton.

“We are the epitome of a grass roots region championing primary producers across the agriculture and horticulture sectors.”

National finals for the TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ competitions are run alongside the iconic contest.

Those events attract competitors from schools across the country.

The practical events for next year’s contest will be held at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Showground.  The popular quiz and evening show will be held in Napier.

Photo credit: Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Association.