Northland men join race to be next FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Posted by on 5 November 2018 | Comments

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A Northland man who helped run one of Australia’s top-producing dairy farms has his sights set on a new challenge.

Brant Julian, 24, has qualified for the Northern Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

“I’m stoked. It’s a great opportunity to upskill and broaden my knowledge of the primary industries,” he said.

Brant is second-in-charge on a 500-cow dairy farm at Te Kopuru near Dargaville.

He’s one of four people to qualify for the high-profile regional final after a district contest in Ruakaka on Saturday.

Competitors spent the day tackling modules testing their practical and theoretical skills.

“We had to dig a trench with a digger, weld and complete a Ravensdown farm development module,” he said.

Brant is a member of Northern Wairoa Young Farmers and from 2012-2015 worked on two dairy farms in Finley, Australia.

“One was a low input 1300-cow farm, the other was Invergelly Jerseys which is one of the top milk producing Jersey farms in Australia,” he said.

“It had 600 cows calving year-round that were fed a total mixed ration (TMR).”

“It was an amazing experience. I learned so much over those three years,” he said.

Brant will be joined at the Northern Regional Final by Daniel Richards, Jack Bellamy and Brody Goodmon.

Daniel is a member of Kaipara Young Farmers and took out first place in the district contest.

“I wasn’t expecting to win,” said the 21-year-old who is managing his parents’ 300-cow dairy farm east of Wellsford.

“This will be my second regional final. I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time, but I have a lot more confidence now.”

Fellow club member Jack Bellamy, 18, is “excited” to have qualified.

It will be a busy start to 2019 for Jack and Brody.

The pair won the Northern Region Fencing Competition last month, securing them a spot in the national final in Christchurch in February.

The Northern Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year is being held in Warkworth on March 6th.

The final four finalists will be decided on November 17th.