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Strong field aims to halt brotherly campaign

Media Release – attention News Editor/Rural Reporter

March 18, 2002

Strong field aims to halt brotherly campaign

The second step in Fred Dodson’s attempt to make WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER CONTEST history will be this weekend’s Otago/Southland Regional Final in Alexandra.

Dodson, a 2000 Grand Finalist, needs to win at Regional Final level in order to progress to this year’s Grand Final, where he would have the opportunity to add his name to that of his brother Malcolm, who won the Contest in 1985.

Only once before in the Contest’s 33-year history have two brothers won the WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER of the Year title on separate occasions.

The only other brothers to achieve this feat were the Catto twins, Grant and Warwick, also representing Otago/Southland, who won the Grand Final in 1992 and 1995 respectively.

However, standing in Dodson’s way are the likes of Tokanui livestock rep Andy Smith and dairy unit manager Robert Kempthorne.

Otago/Southland Region Convenor Andrew Herriott says the effervescent Smith has improved his performance in each of his previous two attempts at Regional Final level.

Kempthorne took a year off from competition in 2001, and is back with a vengeance. He will be reunited with former Lincoln classmate Nigel Johnston, an Alexandra-based rural banker, in the competitive field of eight.

Milton sheep and beef farmer Suzie Corboy put in a spirited performance in last year’s Otago/Southland Regional Final, and she returns in 2002 ready to face the competition.

The unknown factor in this year’s Regional Final comes from the trio of Nigel Dickson, Karl Barclay and James Kirkwood, all of whom are new to Regional Final competition and could prove the bolters in the field.

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 Pioneer Park, Alexandra on Saturday, March 23, 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 Alexandra Town Hall 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 $15,520, will be awarded in each of the seven contest regions.

Tickets to the Otago/Southland final at the Alexandra Town Hall are available from Wrightson Agri Centres and cost $15. Entry to the practical day at Pioneer Park is free.

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:

Andrew Herriott, Otago/Southland Region Convenor, ph 03 204 8187
Bruce McDougall, 2002 WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER CONTEST Manager, ph 0274 350 951

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