Contestants feel white hot heat of competition at FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Posted by Nadine Porter on 7 July 2017 | Comments



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Contestants feel the head of red hot competition!

Contestants in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year felt the heat yesterday as the first day of three days of competition got underway in the Manawatu.

Starting at dawn on Thursday, the seven grand finalists were thrown into a mock accident scene and asked to not only complete a first aid challenge but also to display leadership in a chaotic scene.

The challenge proved unnerving for many of the finalists and unsettled some for the rest of the technical challenges that were hosted by Massey University.

The day finished with the Meridian Energy Agri-knowledge Quiz and Speech show before the Practical Day got underway this morning.

Today will see the contestants complete a number of modules, a Head-to-Head challenge and the gruelling Hynds Agri-sports Challenge where they will finish their day racing side by side to complete a number of physical farm activities.

Finalists include Lisa Kendall, from the Northern region, who is only the fourth female to compete at a Grand Final. She will be joined by Richard French from the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region, James Lawn from Taranaki/Manawatu, Hamish Best from the East Coast, Andrew Wiffen from Tasman, Arjan van’t Klooster from Aorangi and Nigel Woodhead from Otago/Southland.

This morning also marks the first ever Trans-Tasman Olympic Ag Battle with current FMG Young Farmer of the Year Athol New taking on the might of Australia with Tasmanian Young Farmer of the Year Marty McConnon.

The pair will do a number of challenges side by side in a nail biting contest to see who is going to be named the Trans-Tasman champion for 2017!



Con-currently, the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Grand Finals will take place with primary and secondary school teams from around New Zealand duking it out to take back to their school the coveted titles.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) the Contest culminates with the 49th winner of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year being announced at a Gala evening.

In another exciting development this year, the Contest will-be-featured in an online platform through the NZ Young Farmers You Tube channel and on the Contest Facebook page.  For the first time views will be able to see a mixture of livestream and pre-recorded clips as the Contest progresses.

It will also be featured on Country TV on Thursday 13 July at 7.30pm.


 How the FMG Young Farmer of the Year works:

400 contestants competed in 22 District Contest and Skills Day nation-wide.

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 now compete at the Grand Final in the Manawatu this week.

In 49 years only four 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

Lisa Kendall in 2017

For more information, please call NZ Young Farmers Communication Manager Nadine Porter on 0212140703 or email