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Top Young Farmers invade Timaru

July 4, 2002

New Zealand’s seven top Young Farmers converged on Timaru yesterday afternoon in preparation for the 2002 WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER CONTEST Grand Final, which began with the first competitive section early this morning.

Timaru is expected to turn on a huge welcome for the Contest, which is returning to the city which hosted the event in 1996.

An official welcome yesterday afternoon heralded the beginning of three days of intense competition at the highest level, with the seven contestants competing in technical, speech, Agmardt, practical, Agrisport, interview and general knowledge categories.

Contest Manager Bruce McDougall says this year’s seven contestants represent the highest calibre of Young Farmers in the country, and he is anticipating large crowds at Friday’s popular practical and Agrisport day on the city’s Caroline Bay recreational reserve.

“Traditionally, the Contest has become known as the agricultural equivalent of making the All Blacks, and we are expecting some awesome competition from this year’s Grand Finalists,” he says.

With a first prize package worth $79,695 up for grabs, along with the prestigious title of WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER of the Year, the seven are expected to pull out all stops in their quest to win.

Of the seven, four have previously represented their regions at Grand Final. All have been working hard in recent months to expand their knowledge base and gain new practical skills in preparation for the Contest.

This year’s seven Grand Finalists are:

Auckland quantity surveyor Daniel Gardner ­ Northern Region
Waikato agriculture consultant James Allen ­ Waikato/Bay of Plenty
Hawkes Bay sheep and beef farmer Kynan Thomsen ­ East Coast
Wanganui sheep and beef farmer Mike Cranstone ­ Taranaki/Manawatu
West Coast dairy farmer Colin van der Geest ­ Tasman
Ashburton sheep and crop farmer Tim Porter ­ Aorangi
Invercargill dairy farm manager Robert Kempthorne ­ Otago/Southland

For more information, please contact:

Bruce McDougall, 2002 WRIGHTSON AGMARDT YOUNG FARMER CONTEST Manager, ph 0274 350 951 or 03 688 5479

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