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Young Farmer Contest - Defending champion returns

Defending champion returns

Defending Tasman champion, Reuben Carter, is the first Grand Finalist to be named for the 2014 ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

The thirty year old agronomist took first place at the Tasman Regional Final in Murchison at the A&P Show over the weekend, Saturday 15 February.

Mr Carter had a dominant performance leading for most of the day and took out both the Silver Fern Farms Agri-Sports and Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenges giving him solid platform going into the evening show.

The Christchurch City Club member went home with a prize pack worth over $10,000 including cash, scholarships and products and services from ANZ, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.

Second place went to Andrew Wiffen, 26, of the Renwick Club. Mr Wiffen took home $2,900 worth of prizes and also won the Lincoln University Agri-Growth Challenge.

Sarah O’Connell, 29, of the Dunsandel Club, placed third and was also the top scorer in the AGMARDT Agri-Business Challenge.

And, in a close fourth, was James Hoban, of the Hurunui Club.

It was a strong group of competitors with plenty of knowledge and talent on display. The eight contestants were put through their paces in a variety of challenging modules touching on all aspects of farming from practical hands on tasks to theory and business components.

Mr Carter is off to the Grand Final in Christchurch, 3-5 July where he will battle it out for the Champion’s title and over $300,000 in prizes.

He now has eight Regional Finals under his belt and placed fourth overall in the 2013 Grand Final. Contest rules dictate that competitors can only participate twice at the Grand Final level, so this will be his last chance to be the ANZ Young Farmer Contest Champion.

“I have a lot of passion and drive for the agricultural sector and this is what drives me in the contest,” he said. Mr Carter does admit to having quite the competitive streak. “I have always been competitive and enjoy the challenge,” he said.
Mr Carter grew up on a sheep and beef farm at Opononi in Northland and later moved to Canterbury for study and earned his Bachelor of Agriculture from Lincoln University.

Outside of work he enjoys hunting, wood chopping, 4-wheel driving and is very active in stock judging. He was the 2012 winner for the NZ & Australasian Junior Meat and Wool Breeds Sheep Judging Championship.

Mr Carter is also working on raising his sheep stud, “Hurricane Romney,” and building up his equity for the ultimate goal of buying a drystock and cropping farm.

Be sure to tune in to ‘Road To The Young Farmer Final’. The series covers each of the seven Regional Finals and follows the seven top achievers who make it through to the Grand Final. Catch all the action starting Sunday 18th May, 8.30pm exclusively on TVNZ Heartland.

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