First ever Trans-Tasman Olympic Ag Battle a feature of 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the Year!

Posted by Nadine Porter on 20 June 2017 | Comments


For the first time in the 49-year history of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year, a Trans-Tasman Olympic Ag battle will take place between New Zealand and Australia.

Current champion Athol New will take on Australian winner Marty McConnon in what is promising to be the most anticipated agricultural event of the year at the Grand Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year on July 7 at Feilding.

The fierce rivalry of both nations will see New and McConnon stretched to the limits of endurance as they race off beside each other in a number of physical challenges.

Fresh off winning the 2016 FMG Young Farmer of the Year, Athol is an emerging talented leader in the food sector and has recently been sharing his journey from small town Northland to a manager of five dairy farms.

He will go into the Trans-Tasman battle as the hot favourite after his outstanding performance in all areas of last year’s Contest where he finished high up the ladders in all aspects of the Contest including the Agri-sports.

His cool head under a pressure cooker situation will mean McConnon will have a difficult time on his hands when he attempts to take the Trans-Tasman Ag Olympic trophy back over the ditch.

The 27-year-old has a wide variety of skills and currently works for leading Tasmanian harvest contractor C and J Spencer Agriculture in combine operations. His role in the company managing day to day running of combine operations sees him managing staff, maintaining machinery and handling field and workshop maintenance.

Like many Grand Final winners, Marty took the Tasmanian Rural Youth title home last year after many years of dedication and perseverance and is looking forward to utilising his experience in New Zealand to learn from NZ Young Farmers.

FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest chairperson Dean Rabbidge said the shared history between the two nations means the Trans-Tasman Olympic Ag battle will be fiercely fought over.

“It’s the pride of New Zealand and Australia at stake and just like with any sporting rivalry between both nations, both will be desperate to take the inaugural trophy home.



This will be a must-see event and we are expecting large crowds to view the battle.”

NZ Young Farmers CEO Terry Copeland welcomed the new event and said it would further celebrate excellence in agriculture.

“We are delighted to be able to showcase the skills of our Young Farmers in such a way and look forward to seeing the pair battle it out for the pride of their country.”




WHAT: FMG Young Farmer of the Year Trans-Tasman Olympic Ag Battle

WHERE: Feilding 

WHEN: July 7, Manfeild Park, 9:00am and 11.45am 

WHO: Athol New, FMG Young Farmer of the Year champion 2016 versus Marty McConnon, Tasmanian Rural Youth Young Farmer of the Year champion 2016



For more information, please contact Nadine Porter, Communications Manager, NZ Young Farmers on 021 214 0703 or email