Press Releases » Preparation is key on the East Coast
Aaron Passey is the latest Grand Finalist for the ANZ Young Farmer Contest having narrowly taken first place over the weekend (Saturday 23 rd February) at the East Coast Regional Final in Woodville.
Sully Alsop of the Wairarapa Young Farmers Club was runner up followed by one of the few females competing, Michelle Brown from Ballance Young Farmers Club, and Edward Bell of Eskview Young Farmers Club in fourth.
Aaron walked away with his share of the impressive prize pool valued at $9000. The prizes included cash components from ANZ and AGMARDT, a Lincoln University Scholarship, and products from Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, and Husqvarna.
Aaron also secured his place at the ANZ Young Farmer Grand Final in Auckland 16-18 May. His skills will be tested against seven other top achievers from across the country as they battle it out for the glory of the Young Farmer of the Year title and hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of prizes.
Aaron believes his victory stemmed from plenty of preparation.
"I spent lots of time preparing and preparing with different people. I focused on the practical aspects".
Aaron was successful across the board winning both the Silver Fern Farms Agri-sport and Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenges. Michelle took the Lincoln University Agri-growth Challenge and Sully won the AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge.
Aaron is a 30 year old dairy farmer based outside of Dannevirke. A family man, he has three daughters, Lauren, 5, Amanda, 3, Rebecca, 8 months, and partner of ten years, Jo. They are sure to be at the Grand Final to cheer Dad on.
He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture and is very excited about taking his farming career to the next level.
"Over the past few years we've been working really hard building up our cow numbers...getting ready to take the next step towards ownership".
Aaron's family and work on the farm keep his schedule rather full, but he still finds time to serve as the Chairman for the Ballance Young Farmers Club and attend their events. One highlight was the annual clay bird shoot last year, which he also happened to win.
When he can find some down time, Aaron enjoys all things outdoors such as hunting, especially waterfowl, and riding his motorbikes.
The idea of measuring himself against his peers is what motivates Aaron in the Contest, and he offered some advice to other competitors heading into their Regional Finals:
"Give it your all and don't hold back. There aren't any second chances out there".
The East Coast AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Regional Finals were also held over the weekend.
"It is great to watch the teams working together to solve the different modules...everyone has a great laugh and the crowd really gets behind the teams," commented AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Project Leader, Josie Hampton.
The top three teams for the AgriKidsNZ were: in first place, a team of triplets from Flemington School, Terrific Trio, Isaac, Louis and Joseph Twigg. In second place, MIS-Chiefs, Liam McCartney, Patrick Jolliffe and Jeremy Thuston from Masterton Intermediate followed by MIS-Takes, Jack O'Neale, Jethro Thopenhaam and Reece Everson also from Masterton Intermediate.
From the TeenAg competition: Team Butterick & Kyle, Jack Butterick and Sam Kyle from Wairarapa College & Rathkeale College placed first, followed by Baxter & Smith, Andrew Baxter and Henry Smith from Wairarapa College, and The Stag's, Hamish Allen and Scott Maultsaid from Lindisfarne College in third.
The top three teams from AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg are invited to Grand Final in Auckland on May 17th.