Ultimate Rural Challenge underway in Auckland

Posted by on 17 May 2013 | Comments

Crowds gathered in Auckland at Aotea Square today as the 2013 ANZ Young Farmer Contest officially began. 

Auckland City Councillor George Wood opened the proceedings and was delighted this leading agricultural event has come to the ‘City of Sails’.

“We townies look in awe as these young farmers from all over the country get into these different challenges and do such a great job”, Councillor Wood said.

The seven Grand Finalists, each representing a different region, rode into the square on farm bikes and were introduced to the public by Contest announcer Craig ‘Wiggy’ Wiggins and Contest Chairman Bevan Proffit. “It takes a lot of passion and a lot of determination, you also have to be a good all-rounder”, commented Mr Proffit on what it takes to be the Contest Champion.

The Grand Finalists are: Ian Douglas of Northern, Tim Van de Molen of Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Cam Brown of Taranaki/Manawatu, Aaron Passey of East Coast, Reuben Carter of Tasman, Matthew Bell of Aorangi, and Dean Rabbidge of Otago/Southland.

After the introductions it was straight into the first Head-to-Head Challenge where a delicate touch was required to chainsaw a sculpture of the SKYCITY tower out of a wooden post in just ten minutes. Next, the contestants had to construct a catamaran of wood that they measured and cut themselves, string, and a corflute.

The next two days will be a grueling test of ability, talent and know-how for the Competitors.

Friday will bring the Practical Day taking place at Kumeu Showgrounds. Here the Finalists will be tested on all matters of agriculture including the agri-skills and agri-growth challenges as well as the action packed agri-sports challenges. The modules range from practical and hands on to commercial elements of agriculture, including an HR scenario and a business presentation. Entry to the showgrounds is a gold coin donation and the events run from 7am-4pm.

Friday evening is the ANZ Grand Final dinner, held at the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron, where the Contestants’ rhetoric talents will be showcased as they deliver a convincing speech on a topic given to them earlier that day.

Saturday will consist of a closed door exam in the morning and the televised evening show which is formatted as a quiz-show with skill testing questions on agriculture and general knowledge. The show will take place at TVNZ studios and a live-feed will be broadcast to audiences at at SKYCITY, which will also be host to the Celebration Ball taking place after the evening show.

The programme will also be aired on TV1 at 10.15pm Saturday 18th and on Heartland Sunday 19th at 8.30pm.

The Contestants are competing for the prestigious title of Contest Champion and nearly $70,000 in cash and prizes from ANZ, AGMARDT, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.

“It’s still early days, but it is shaping up to be a very very strong contest”, commented Mr Wiggins.