Waipa/King Country finalists dark horses of FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Posted by Nadine Porter on 7 December 2016 | Comments

The final two contenders for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year from the Waipa/ King Country District, look set to throw a spanner in the works for other experienced finalists. 

Chris Poole took out the District title and at only 22-years-old he finds himself through to his first Regional Final at Te Awamutu on the 25th March. 

But don't let his age fool you – this smart cookie may be young but he already has a Massey University degree in Agricultural Science and is Contract Milking in partnership with his brother on the home 750-cow-farm in Pirongia. 

The Te Kawa West Young Farmer Club member is a determined young man who aims to build equity quickly so that he can farm on his own and if that determination transfers over to the Contest he could be on his way to the Grand Final in the Manawatu next July. 

However, second place getter Mike Kjestrup will be a fierce opponent in his last year of being eligible to compete. 

The 30-year-old is an experienced competitor having entered five District Contest and Skills Days previously - but this is the first and only year he will get to experience a Regional Final. 

With everything on the line and former Grand Finalist Dwayne Cowin mentoring him out Mike could be the surprise package. 

Managing a 380-hectare sheep and beef family farm in Mahoenui, Kjestrup also has experience working on an organic sheep and beef farm when he lived in Scotland during 2013. 

Poole and Kjestrup will now join six others all vying to represent and win the FMG Young Farmer of the Year for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region. 


The final eight contestants representing Waikato/Bay of Plenty at the Regional Final in Te Awamutu on 25th March: 

Tim Mason, Jo Jordan (Northern Waikato), Trevor Knyvett, Richard French (Bay of Plenty), Wayne Hofmann, Eion O'Mahony (Piako), Chris Poole, Mike Kjestrup (Waipa/King Country) 


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 

For more information please contact Nadine Porter, Communications Manager on 021 2140703 or email nadine.porter@youngfarmers.co.nz


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