In it, to win it.
ANZ Relationship Associate Jake Jarman is preparing to compete in this year’s FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Christchurch. And he says he’s in it, to win it.
The past few months have been non-stop for Jake Jarman. After taking the Taranaki/Manawatu Region by storm by swooping up the win, the first time competitor has been focused on settling into a new career and preparing for the grand finals in July.
“I’m a very competitive person. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and set myself to a really high standard. When James Robertson won the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition I think it really went to prove that age isn’t a barrier in this competition”.
At just 24, Jarman has a decent resume to his name. With a Bachelor of AgriCommerce and a Masters in Agri Science from Lincoln University and Massey University respectively, up his sleeve he’s had plenty of options when it comes to career choices.
“I opted to go down the commerce route for my studies because it’s always been something I’ve found interesting. When I did my masters we looked at the financial aspect of the farm system change we investigated which was something I really enjoyed”.
While his rural roots have always been strong, he says there was a time he was planning on studying meteorology.
“I really enjoyed science and maths but my love of agriculture classes won out. I had some wonderful teachers who were really encouraging of tertiary education around agriculture. I was, and am, curious about the intersection of biophysical science, economics, and people that come together to make food and fibre”.
After completing his studies, Jarman headed home to work on the family farm in Inglewood. He’s the fifth generation to work the land.
“I loved being home and working with my parents, it’s a privilege in many ways to work land that’s been in the family for so long. It was a nice change of pace after studying”.
Alongside working on the farm, Jarman was working part-time as a farm systems research graduate with Dairy Trust Taranaki working closely on their ‘Living below the Fat Evaluation Index’ supplementary feeding research project, which seeks to compare alternatives to feeding PKE in an attempt to lower the fat evaluation index of the milk.
Earlier this year, Jarman landed a job within ANZ’s rural lending team as a relationship associate. The job sees him working alongside relationship managers, helping customers to start, grow and maintain their rural businesses.
“Since day one it’s been a challenge and a steep learning curve but I’m really enjoying it and feel like this is where I’m meant to be for now. I want to make a positive impact and add some value to the sector”.
Jarman has his eye on farm ownership and raising a family on the land, just like his parents.
“Having that family environment on a farm would be incredible. I really enjoyed my childhood and the opportunities that came from the farm. I want to provide that for my family when I reach that age and stage in life”.
For now, he’s keen to stay in the rural professional space, save his pennies for his long term goals and be as involved in the industry as he can.
“One piece of advice I’d give to young people is to get out and about with people. Ask people if you can spend a day with them, learn who the movers and shakers are in the business you want to work in.
“If you show initiative and interest, opportunities may pop up. I did a day with a banker and a fertiliser representative while I was at university and I wish I had done more of it, it’s invaluable learning time”.
Despite this being his first year competing, Jarman has been involved in Young Farmers since University and has lapped up every chance to take advantage of what the organisation offers.
“Young Farmers is a lot about networks and a lot about meeting like-minded people. I’ve been a member of four clubs as I’ve moved around the country so I have friends in all parts of the country now”.
While he would have liked to try his hand at competing earlier, his university schedule never quite lined up with the district competition so entering this year was more about giving it a go, rather than aiming to win. That said, once he obtained a grand finals spot, his competitive nature kicked in and he's in it to win it.
“The last few months preparing for grand finals has been hectic. So much goes on from interviews to filming to workshop days, it’s all outside my comfort zone, but that's where I like to be. If you’re not out of your comfort zone, you’re not really growing.
“I look at this as something that’s going to build me not just for the weekend of the competition, but my whole life and career. I’m excited for the competition, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a touch nervous too”.
With just weeks to go until game day, Jarman says he’s focusing on brushing up on all things non-dairy related to broadening his knowledge base and making sure his practical skills are sharp.