James Lawn ecstatic to be named the Winner of the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final

Posted by on 26 April 2017 | Comments

Taranaki Dairy Farmer James Lawn isn’t often lost for words, but tonight was speechless in being named the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Finalist for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year, after a nail-biting competition in Hawera.

Over the course of the competition James performed well across all facets and took home the prestigious Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge for his ability across multiple practical agricultural disciplines. Despite only taking home one of the five challenge titles, James had the best consistency across the day.

The ecstatic 27-year-old Dairy Farmer said ‘It’s still sinking in, I really can’t believe it’.  James, no stranger to the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Finals, having competed before, prior to a two year stint overseas visiting 46 countries

This win means James will now go on to represent the Taranaki Manawatu Region, up against former flat mates Richard French and Hamish Best at the Grand Final in July. James saying ‘Up until that time we are all friends still, but during that week it will be a real contest’.

For winning the final James takes home $12 500 in prizes including a Honda XR150 motorbike and a $1000 cash reward from FMG.

Second Place went to Nigel Will, the Marton Young Farmer in his last year of competing was pipped at the post, despite taking out both the AGMARDT Agri-Business and the Meridian Energy Agri-Knowledge Challenges.

Third place-getter, and Chairman of the Central Taranaki Young Famers, Nick Brown took home the Massey University Agri-Growth Challenge and the highly contested Agri-Sports.

The Grand Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year will take place from July 6th to 8th in the Manawatu with seven Grand Finalists from around New Zealand including; Otago/Southland’s Nigel Woodhead, Aorangi’s Arjan Van't Klooster, Tasman’s Andrew Wiffen, Northern’s Lisa Kendall, Waikato/Bay of Plenty’s Richard French,East Coast’s Hamish Best, and now James Lawn from the Taranaki/Manawatu region. 

AgriKidsNZ place getters, with the top three also qualifying for the Grand Final in Manawatu went to, both second and third place went to Teams from South Makirikiri School. The Winners of the AgriKidsNZ Regional Final were the Hiwinui Hamburgers from Hiwinui School.

It was an all Feilding Final in the TeenAg Competition with all five teams in the Face-Off coming from Feilding High School. The top two of these teams will progress to the Grand Final; the winning Team was Sheldon Mayo and Esther Jewis.


How the FMG Young Farmer of the Year works:

400 contestants competed in 22 District Contest and Skills Day nation-wide where they can opt to 'Have a Go' which means they cannot progress to the next level – or they can enter competitively.

56 contestants compete in seven regional finals from Northern, Waikato-Bay of Plenty, Taranaki-Manawatu, East Coast, Tasman, Aorangi, Otago-Southland from February to April.

The seven winners of the regional final will go on to the Grand Final in July 2017 at the Manawatu.

In 49 years only three females have ever made the Grand Final:

Denise Brown who placed Seventh in 1981

Louise Collingwood who was Placed Third and Runner Up in 2001 and 2003

Katherine Tucker placed Seventh in 2012


For more information, please call Carolyn Bennett, National Events and Marketing Manager, NZ Young Farmers on 021913035 or carolyn.bennett@youngfarmers.co.nz