North Canterbury trio to clash in Tasman Regional Final

Posted by on 23 January 2019 | Comments

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Three North Canterbury club mates are set to clash in the Tasman Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Georgie Lindsay, Matt Redmond and Woody Gardner will face-off in the hotly-contested event in Culverden in March.

The trio are all members of Amuri Basin Young Farmers.

Matt Redmond Georgie Lindsay and Woody Gardner.Matt Redmond, 24, manages an 850 cow dairy farm at Culverden and has been a club member for three years.

“It’s going to be a fierce local battle and it’ll be really interesting to see who wins,” he said.

It will be the first time any of the trio has competed in the regional final.

Georgie Lindsay, 23, is a shepherd at the 2400 hectare Marble Point Station south of Hanmer Springs.

“I’m a bit nervous, but I’m also excited. It will be a good challenge, but it’s daunting when you don’t know what to expect,” she said.

Woody Gardner, 25, works on a family-owned 550 hectare dairy, sheep and cropping farm at Waiau.

He spent time in Western Australia in 2015 harvesting cereals, canola and peas, and is a volunteer firefighter.

“I felt the contest was a great opportunity to see how I stack up against everyone else,” he said.

The Tasman regional final is being held in Culverden on March 2nd.

Contestants will tackle a series of gruelling practical and theoretical modules at the Amuri Showgrounds.

It will be followed by a dinner and fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz hosted by Te Radar at the Amuri Area School.

The trio will go head-to-head with five other finalists from across the upper South Island.

They are Alex Knowles, Jonny Brown, Martin Bates, Peter O’Connor and Stewart Watson.

Alex Knowles, 25, is an agri manager for Ravensdown and was previously second-in-charge on a 650 cow dairy farm at Burnham.

Alex is a twin and grew up on a 90 cow dairy farm in the United Kingdom.

“My aim is to learn how to shear a sheep between now and the regional final and to brush up on my welding skills,” she laughed.

Jonny Brown, 27, is an assistant manager on a 1000 cow dairy farm at Rakaia.

Alex and Jonny will face-off against fellow Dunsandel Young Farmers club member Martin Bates.

The 30-year-old is a qualified builder who contract milks 1200 cows across two irrigated farms at Charing Cross.

Peter O’Connor, 20, is a student at Lincoln University and is the only finalist from the West Coast.

He grew up on a 600 cow dairy farm in Westport and has spent the summer working for an agricultural contractor in Temuka.

“I’m really looking forward to the regional final. It’ll be great to give it a go and see how I compare to the other finalists,” he said.

Peter was co-chair of the TeenAg club at St Bede’s College and made it through to the TeenAg Grand Final in Timaru in 2016.

Stewart Watson, 30, also grew up in the United Kingdom and is a trained traditional arts blacksmith.

He’s an equity partner in a 550 cow dairy farm in Golden Bay, which has a 150 hectare support block.

“I’ve got a bit of an advantage having competed in a regional final before. My aim this year is to complete each module faster,” he said.

The Tasman event is one of seven regional finals being held across the country between February and April.

The regional winners will face off at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Hawke’s Bay in July.