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Tasman kicks off ANZ Young Farmer Contest Regional Finals

Tasman kicks off ANZ Young Farmer Contest Regional Finals

The first of seven Grand Finalists will be determined next weekend, Saturday 15 February as Tasman starts the 2014 Regional Finals for the ANZ Young Farmer Contest in Murchison.

“This contest season is shaping up to be very impressive, every year the calibre of contestants continues to impress,” said Kyle Goodwyn, ANZ Young Farmer Contest Chairman.

The eight finalists are contending for a spot at the Grand Final in Christchurch 3-5 July and their share of an impressive prize pack worth over $14,000 in products, services and scholarships from ANZ, Lincoln University, Silver Fern Farms, AGMARDT, Ravensdown, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.

“The support from sponsors and the community is invaluable, they are not only supporting the contest but the future of agriculture and together with Young Farmers we are driving the industry forward,” said Mr Goodwyn.
The Tasman Regional Final will see a remarkable group of contenders come together for what will surely be a full on day of practical, physical and theoretical challenges at the Murchison Sport, Recreation and Cultural Centre followed by the entertaining evening quiz-show held at the Murchison Theatre.

Andrew Stewart, 30, from the Grey Valley Club, says he is not afraid of a little hard work and is no stranger to the contest having competed at the district level six times. This will be his third Regional Final. Mr Stewart is a fifth generation farmer in the Taramakau settlement where he is a 50/50 sharemilker with 250 cows.

In his seventh round of Regional Finals is Reuben Carter from the Christchurch City Club. The thirty-year-old agronomist is very active in stock judging and was the winner of the 2012 NZ & Australasian Junior Meat & Wool Breeds Sheep Judging competition. Mr Carter, who admits to having a competitive streak, was also the Tasman representative at the 2013 Grand Final in Auckland.

One of the few women competing at this level is Sarah O'Connell of the Dunsandel Club. The twenty-nine year old works as an extension officer with Beef+Lamb New Zealand in the Central South Island and has competed in three regional finals before and is very encouraging of other women to give the competition a go.

This will be Hurunui Club member James Hoban’s first Regional Final. Mr Hoban, 28, is a man of many talents and divides his time between his family, work as a land management advisor and freelance writing for Country-Wide.

Another Hurunui Club member is thirty-year-old Charles Douglas-Clifford who is back competing after a long hiatus, last participating in the 2006 and 2007 Tasman Regional Finals. Mr Douglas-Clifford holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture from Lincoln University and works on his family farm near Cheviot.

Twenty-six-year-old Andrew Wiffen of the Renwick Club is optimistic the experience he has gained over the years in his competition career will help him secure a place at the Christchurch Grand Final. Mr Wiffen made it through to the 2012 Aorangi Regional Final and placed third in last year’s Tasman Regional Final. He works on his family’s sheep and beef property in Ward and holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture, Farm Management & Rural Valuation.

Marcel van Reenen, 28, of the Tapawera Club is a rural banker in Upper Moutere. He participated in the 2012 Tasman Regional Final and has a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture, Rural Valuation. Mr van Reenen is a beekeeping enthusiast and keen on multisport.

And, the youngest of this region’s competitors is Caleb Strowger, 22, from the Lincoln Club. What he lacks in age he makes up for in experience already having two Regional Finals under his belt. Mr Strowger studied towards a Bachelor of Agriculture Sciences and is a trainee consulting officer with DairyNZ.

Also in the midst of the action are the future Young Farmers – the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg competitions will be running alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

Tickets for the evening show are available from the Murchison Vet Clinic, 80 Waller Street.


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