Last Regional Final set to be a show stopper

Posted by on 8 April 2014 | Comments

The last of the seven Grand Finalists for the ANZ Young Farmer Contest will be named at the Aorangi Regional Final held at the Mackenzie A&P Show in Fairlie, Easter Monday 21 April.

It will be a full on day with practical events at the showgrounds where eight competitors will be tested on a variety of hands-on, physical and theoretical challenges – all with an agricultural and farming focus.

The day’s events will be followed by the entertaining evening show and quiz round at the Mackenzie Community Centre where a cool head and quick wits are vital. Tickets for the evening show can be purchased at ANZ branches in Timaru, Geraldine, Temuka and CRT Fairlie.

Over $14,000 in cash, scholarships, products and services are up for grabs from ANZ, Lincoln University, Silver Fern Farms, AGMARDT, Ravensdown, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.

It is set to be a tight race for this last round of eliminations. The ambitious participants all have strong backgrounds in the primary industry and plenty of experience to call upon.

Sam Bryan is in it to win it. The twenty-eight year old has competed in every competition since 2006 and this will be his fourth attempt at the regional level. Mr Bryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural from Lincoln University and runs a contract mobile crutching unit and tailing business out of Darfield. Mr Bryan belongs to the Foothills Club.

This could be Marshall Smith’s last chance at a Grand Final. The thirty year old belongs to the Upper Waitaki Club and works as a dry stock manager in Kurow. In his spare time Mr Smith enjoys an active lifestyle taking part in rugby, cricket, skiing and hunting.

James Davidson, 25, of the Hinds Club last competed in 2012 at the district level and this will be his first Regional Final. Mr Davidson is a dairy farm manager in Mayfield who is working towards farm ownership. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture.

Another first time Regional Finalist is twenty-five year old Steven Smit of the Glenavy/Waimate Club. Mr Smit is currently in his fifth season of contract milking in Oamaru and holds a Diploma in Agriculture. He enjoys working in the primary industry because of the daily challenges and the fact that no two days are the same. He says he is working towards his goal of running a top producing dairy farm with “happy cows and happy staff.”

Cole Harris, 25, from the Milford/Clandeboye Club is a first time competitor. Mr Harris works as a lower order sharemilker in Orari and enjoys cycling, hunting and he plays rugby for Geraldine.

Fellow Milford/Clandeboye Club member Stafford Adams, 26, is also in the running. Mr Adams is a lower order sharemilker based near Ashburton and says he enjoys working in the primary industry because of the variety and the opportunity to be self-employed.

This will be Nigel Woodhead’s second regional final. The twenty-five year old belongs to the Pendarves Club and holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Lincoln University. Mr Woodhead works as a field consultant in Ashburton.

And lastly, the youngest competitor in this event is Sonja Dobbie, 23, of Five Forks Club. Miss Dobbie holds a Certificate in Rural Animal Technology and works as a vet nurse/large animal technician in Oamaru. One of her goals is to one day run her own farm business. This will be her first Regional Final.

The top scoring competitor will go on to represent Aorangi at the Grand Final in Christchurch 3-5 July.

Also in the midst of the action are the future Young Farmers – the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Regional Final competitions running alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

And, be sure to tune in to ‘Road To The Young Farmer Final’. The series, hosted by Mark Leishman, covers each of the seven Regional Finals and follows the seven top achievers who make it through to the Grand Final. Catch all the action starting Sunday 18th May, 9.30pm exclusively on TVNZ Heartland.

For more information contact:

Chelsea Blair
NZYF Communications Coordinator
021 214 0703