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Top seven gearing up for Grand Final

Top seven gearing up for Grand Final

The top seven Young Farmers from across the country are gearing up for the 2014 ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Final, 3-5 July in Christchurch.

“It is certainly shaping up to be a very strong contest,” commented Contest Chairman Kyle Goodwin. “There is an interesting mix of competition and industry experience with this group,” he said.

The seven Grand Finalists were determined after rigorous competition at the regional level, where 56 competitors across New Zealand battled it out for top place.

Representing Tasman is Reuben Carter, 30, of the Christchurch City Young Farmers Club. Mr Carter, an agronomist, is one of the most experienced finalists having competed at the regional level seven times and placing fourth in the 2013 Grand Final.

From Otago/Southland is Dean Rabbidge, of the Wyndham Club. The thirty-year-old works on a sheep, beef and dairy farm in Eastern Southland, and, like Mr Carter, competed in last year’s Grand Final, placing fifth overall.
Brad Lewis, of the Opiki Club, will represent the Taranaki/Manawatu region. Mr Lewis, 28, is a manager on his family’s dairy farm at Levin and last competed at Grand Final in 2012, placing third.

Also in the running is Shelly Beach sheep and beef farm manager David Kidd of the Auckland City Club. Mr Kidd, 30, is a first time Grand Finalist representing Northern.

Another first time Grand Finalist is twenty-eight year old Dwayne Cowin. A stock manager at Lochinver Station, Mr Cowin belongs to the Reporoa Club and will represent Waikato/Bay of Plenty. Last year’s champion, Tim van de Molen also came from this region.

Sully Alsop, 30, is the East Coast Grand Finalist. Mr Alsop works as an agribusiness consultant in the sheep and beef sector in Masterton. He has competed at the regional level three times, and this will also be his first Grand Final.

The youngest competitor and the dark horse of the group, is James Davidson representing Aorangi. The twenty-five-year-old works as a 2IC on a dairy farm in Darfield. It was Mr Davidson’s first attempt at the regional level this year.

There is over $300,000 in the total prize pool for the Grand Final and the champion will go home with nearly $70,000 in prizes including cash, scholarships and products and services from ANZ, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.

Grand Final events begin Thursday 3 July, 4.30pm with the Official Opening at Lincoln University Library (free for spectators). Friday 4 July is the Practical Day, held at Lincoln University (gold coin donation entry). Friday evening sees the ANZ Sponsors and Speeches Dinner, held at the Wigram Airforce Museum.

The competition continues Saturday 5 July with the LIVE Televised Evening Show at CBS Arena followed by the Celebratory Ball at Addington Raceway.

Tickets for all these events are available at www.youngfarmers.co.nz

For contestant profiles CLICK HERE.

Now, in its 46th year The ANZ Young Farmer Contest is New Zealand's ultimate rural challenge - inspiring excellence, showcasing innovation and growing human capabilities. The contest is the flagship event for New Zealand Young Farmers and is unlike any other competition internationally in its prestige, sponsorship and following.


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