Richard French wins Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Posted by on 27 March 2017 | Comments

Reporoa Sheep and Beef Farmer Richard French was delighted to be named the Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Regional FMG Young Farmer of the Year after a fiercely fought battle alongside tough competition in Te Awamutu on Saturday.

The excited 27-year-old Farm Manager has some experience with the FMG Young Farmer of Year having competed in 2016 for the East Coast Region. French credited the study he put in alongside previous rival and East Coast competitor Hamish Best for his performance across the weekend’s competition but joked that he ‘might lose his lifeline’ depending on the next weekends results in Waipukurau.

Over the course of the competition, the Reporoa Young Farmer and previous Banker performed well across both technical and practical facets of the contest and took out the AGMARDT Agri-Business Challenge where contestants face a tough technical exam, as well as the Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge made up of modules to test competitors on a range practical skills.

This fine display of diverse knowledge now sees French going on to represent the Waikato/Bay Region, with the Reporoa Young Farmers Clubs’ enthusiasm now driving the entire region to get behind Richard, already sourcing ‘French’ themed attire for Grand Final in July.

For winning the final Richard takes home $12 500 in prizes including a Honda XR150 motorbike and $1000 cash reward from FMG.

Second Place went to Eoin O’Mahoney, originally from Cork, and now in his fifth season contract milking in New Zealand. The 27-year-old in his first regional also took home the Massey University Agri-Growth Challenge for his interview skills and in true Irish fashion credited his strengths to be ‘the luck of the Irish and an easy going attitude’.

Tim Mason rounded out the top three for the Evening, in his final year of competing the 30-year-old entrepreneur also took home the Agri-Sports Challenge.

Waihi Young Farmer and experienced competitor Wayne Hofmann won the Meridian Energy Agri-knowledge challenge, but was unable to make the top three.

The Grand Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year will take place on July 6th to 8th in the Manawatu with seven Grand Finalists from around New Zealand including; Otago/Southland’s Nigel Woodhead, Aorangi’s Arjan Van't Klooster, Tasman’s Andrew Wiffen, Northern’s Lisa Kendall and Waikato/Bay of Plenty’s Richard French. Two Regional Finals are yet to take place.


How the FMG Young Farmer of the Year works:

400 contestants competed 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 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 call Carolyn Bennett, National Events and Marketing Manager, NZ Young Farmers on 021913035 or