East Coast couple to clash in FMG Young Farmer of the Year in Dannevirke

Posted by on 14 March 2019 | Comments


A central Hawke’s Bay couple is set to go head-to-head in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Alice Speedy and Jono Green, who’re are both 29, have qualified for the East Coast regional final next month.

The couple co-own a 670 hectare sheep and beef farm near Waione. It’s their first time competing in the event.

“I’m going to beat Jono,” laughed Alice, who works as a shepherd for her parents on their farm in nearby Herbertville.

“I’m better at time management than he is, so hopefully that will work to my advantage.”

Alice Speedy.Alice has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) from Lincoln University and isn’t afraid of a challenge.

She spent five years shepherding in the South Island high country, before travelling overseas in 2016.

“I cycled 4000 kilometres around Europe with a friend. I had no training. I just got off the plane and bought the first second hand bike I liked the look of,” she said.

“We then flew to Tanzania and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and did a brief stint teaching in schools.”

Jono also enjoys scaling new heights. He’s training to be a pilot and is halfway through getting his private licence to fly a small fixed-wing plane.

“I’m really looking forward to the regional final, especially beating Alice. It should be a bit of a laugh,” he said.

Jono grew up on a sheep and beef farm near Kaikoura and has a Diploma in Farm Management from Lincoln University.

The Puketoi Young Farmers memberworks part-time at a nearby station.

He’s previously competed in the semi-finals of the national dog trials and spent four months working on a hunting estate in the Scottish highlands in 2016.

“It was a pretty cool experience. I’d take wealthy English and Europeans around the estate hunting red deer stags,” he said.

The couple will go up against six other contestants in the East Coast regional final in Dannevirke on April 13th.

They are Ashley Greer, Chris O’Leary, Hamish Hammond, Henry Smith, Joseph Watts and Rob Barry.

Contestants will tackle a series of gruelling practical and theoretical modules at Pukemiro Station.

It will be followed by a dinner and fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz hosted by Te Radar at the Dannevirke Town Hall.

The winner won’t have far to travel to represent the region at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final. The prestigious event is being held in Napier in July.