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Retirement Leaves Field Open For Aorangi Final

Retirement Leaves Field Wide Open For Aorangi Final

The retirement of two-time Grand Final runner-up Stephen Jack has left the field wide open in the Aorangi Regional Final of the 2002 WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER CONTEST, being held in Methven this Saturday (March 16).

For the first time in the WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER CONTEST’s history, the final is being held in conjunction with an A&P Show. Organisers are confident the combination of the final with the Methven A&P Show will prove a huge success.

Aorangi Regional Manager Richard Fitzgerald is excited at the prospect of a 5000-strong crowd attending the final. “This is a great opportunity for us to join forces with another high profile community event and create an entertaining and fun spectacle for the crowd while we promote our Contest and Young Farmers to the wider public.”

The spectators will be treated to some high quality competition as eight district winners compete for the $15,000 regional prize pack and the opportunity to represent their region at the Grand Final in Timaru from July 4-6.

While Jack has retired from the competition, the North Otago duo of last year’s Aorangi runner up, Geoff Williamson, and third placegetter Stephen Strachan return for another crack at the regional title.

However, they face some stiff competition from 1998 WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER CONTEST Grand Finalist Tim Porter (Rakaia), back after a three year break.

First-time regional finalists Hayden Roberts and Julian Gaffaney, both from Timaru, are also expected to compete well, having finished strongly in their Timaru district final.

“Don’t rule out a strong challenge from first timers Gareth Isbister (Oamaru), Tim Molloy (Rakaia), and the hometown favourite, Methven’s Jimmy Paton,” Richard Fitzgerald says.

The competition is divided into four sections – technical, practical, agrisport and an evening session.

In what will be his 11th year, experienced television and radio personality Jim Hopkins will again compere all Regional Finals.

Held at the Methven A&P Showground on Saturday, March 16, the practical session is divided into seven tasks and one interview. It tests contestants’ problem solving abilities as well as their practical skills and knowledge of a wide variety of agricultural industries, including dairy, sheep, beef, deer, arable, forestry and horticulture.

Agrisport is where the contestants compete side by side in a race to complete a variety of farming-related tasks such as building a sawhorse and assembling a milking cluster.

In the evening session at the Mount Hutt Memorial Hall, Methven, the contestants will participate in a quickfire round testing their general and agriculture knowledge through oral, video and audio questions.

Each Regional Final winner will receive a prize package valued at $9295, including a $6695 Honda XR200 farm bike, $1000 cash from Straight Furrow newspaper, $750 of Swanndri clothing, Wrightson products or services to the value of $500 and a Ford dealer vehicle servicing package and gift pack valued at $350.

The winner of the practical section receives Ravensdown Quality Fertiliser Products and soil and herbage testing services from ARL valued at $1500.

All district and regional contestants in the 2002 Wrightson AGMARDT Young Farmer Contest have the opportunity to apply for a Lincoln University scholarship. One of these scholarships, each with a value of up to $15,250, will be awarded in each of the seven contest regions.

Tickets to the Aorangi final at the Mount Hutt Memorial Hall are available from Wrightson AgriCentres and cost $20.

The 2002 WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER CONTEST Grand Final will be held in Timaru from July 4-6, with a total prize pool of $129,395. This includes a first prize valued at $79,695 to go hand in hand with the prestigious title of 2002 WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER of the Year.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Fitzgerald, Aorangi Regional Manager, ph 03 302 1804
Bruce McDougall, 2002 WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER CONTEST Manager, ph 0274 350 951

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