NZ’s Ultimate Rural Challenge begins

Posted by on 20 January 2016 | Comments

20 January 2016



New Zealand’s ultimate rural challenge, FMG Young Farmer of the Year, takes place at seven regional locations around the country starting in February. Now in its 48th year, the iconic Contest displays the finest of New Zealand Young Farmers in a range of action-packed challenges.

In the lead up to the seven Regional Finals in 2016, over 250 Young Farmer hopefuls battled it out across 22 District Finals for a spot in their region’s final. Between February and April 56 contestants will take up the challenge in their Regional Finals around the country, narrowing the field to a single representative from each region to compete at the Grand Final in Timaru from 7-9 July 2016.

“The FMG Young Farmer Contest is unique in the world for its national reach and breadth of competition, a global leader for this genre of competition,” says Terry Copeland, CEO of New Zealand Young Farmers – organisers of the Contest.

“It’s a chance for the wider New Zealand community to see first-hand the specialist knowledge and skills that our future rural leaders possess.  It is a showcase for the cream of New Zealand’s up and coming agri-sector talent.”

Regional Finalists show their skills across a range of tasks in the Practical Day challenges and Evening Show rounds as they vie for a spot in the Grand Final and a slice of the total $303,150 Contest prize pool.  The Practical Day, which is open to the public, is fast-paced and physical with sporting and agricultural skills demonstrated alongside business know-how. 

 The Evening Show, in front of a live audience, includes quiz rounds on specialist topics and general knowledge

New Zealand’s Ultimate Rural Challenge Begins

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year has been supported by many long-standing sponsor partners. In October 2015 NZ Young Farmers announced FMG as the new principal sponsor for the Contest. FMG Chief Executive Officer Chris Black says “quote about FMG picking up the sponsorship”

“what the contest means to rural NZ – Chris Black”

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Finals 2016 will be held at the following regional locations.   More information on Practical Day and Evening Shows, and Regional Final Contestants can be found at

North Island:
Northern – Pukekohe – 20 February
Waikato/Bay of Plenty – Huntly – 27 February
Taranaki/Manawatu – Feilding – 5 March

East Coast – Dannevirke – 12 March

South Island:
Tasman – Oxford – 2 April

Aorangi – Ashburton – 16 April

Otago/Southland – Wyndham – 9 April