Strong field into the Otago/Southland Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Posted by Nadine Porter on 30 November 2016 | Comments

The heat is on in the Otago Southland Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year in what is shaping up to be the toughest competition nation-wide. 

The final four contestants for the final were found at the Otago District Contest and Skills Day which was won by Alan Harvey. 

The 25-year-old has a good chance of making a Grand Final after finishing fourth in the Tasman Regional Final last year. 

Raised on a North Otago sheep and beef family farm, Harvey graduated from University with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours before before taking up a graduate position with Agriseeds in Canterbury. 

Currently he is an agronomist for the same company in Alexandra and in his spare time he volunteers for Search and Rescue. 

Runner up in the Otago Contest was Luke Kane – a Tapanui dairy farmer. Kane, 28, has been previously recognised as an up and comer in the Otago Dairy Industry Awards when he came third in the Dairy Trainee of the Year Award in 2010. 

However, Harvey and Kane may be usurped by experienced contestant Lyndon Wallace who finished fourth in the Regional Final last year and won the Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenge and the Agri-sports Challenge. 

Wallace's cousin Logan won that regional final and went on to come fifth in the Grand Final and he is now working for FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Finalist Peter Gardyne on his sheep and beef property at Nthdale. Gardyne finished runner up in both 2010 and 2012 and will be a vital mentor to Wallace in the build-up to the Regional Final. 

Fourth place getter Mike Marshall, 30, was the last contestant to make the final in his last year of competing. 

The dairy farmer milks 550 cows in an equity partnership at Tapanui next door to the family sheep and been farm and holds a Diploma in Agriculture and Farm Management.  

The four will go up against stiff competition from the Southern finalists including Steve Henderson who finished sixth in the Grand Final in 2015, Nigel Woodhead, Alex Field and Allen Gregory. 

The final will take place at Roxburgh at the Mt Benger A and P Show on 25th February. 


Otago Southland FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Line-up: 

Steve Henderson, Nigel Woodhead, Alex Field, Allen Gregory (Southern), Alan Harvey, Luke Kane, Lyndon Wallace, Mike Marshall (Otago) 


How the FMG Young Farmer of the Year works: 

400 contestants will compete in 22 District Contest and Skills Day nation-wide where they can opt to 'Have a Go' which means they cannot progress to the next level – or they can enter competitively. 

56 contestants will 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 go the Grand Final in July 2017 at Manawatu. 

In 49 years only three females have ever made the Grand Final: 

Denise Brown who placed seventh in 1981 

Louise Collingwood who was RUNNER UP and third place in 2003 and 2001 

Katherine Tucker placed seventh in 2012 OtagoSouth RFinalist