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Brad Lewis Wins a Close Battle in New Plymouth

Brad Lewis Wins a Close Battle in New Plymouth

Brad Lewis is the third ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Finalist to be named. Mr Lewis joins Reuben Carter from Tasman and Dean Rabbidge from Otago/Southland; with four contestants still to join them.

The 28 year old, Farm Manager from the Opiki Club took first place at the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final, in New Plymouth, at Yarrow Stadium, on Saturday 1st March. Mr Lewis also took out the Agri Business Challenge. “the highlight of my day was winning overall, but my success in the technical aspects was very pleasing” stated Mr Lewis.

The contest was tight throughout both the day and evening components, with a clear winner only being apparent with six points still to be allocated. “I knew Pete would be stiff competition, he has been putting in a lot of work for this years contest, there were times throughout the evening that I thought second best was going to have to do” said Mr Lewis.

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.

Second place went to Pete Fitz-Herbert, 28, of the Marton Club who took home $2,900 worth of prizes. Mr Fitz-Herbert also won the Agri Skills Challenge.

The battle for third place was even closer, with Roger Dettling, 26, of the Central Taranaki Club and Liam Richardson, 24, of the Alton Club both ending the Contest in a tie on 168 points. In the end Mr Dettling took 3rd place with a count back to the Agri Skills Challenge and he also won the Agri Sports Challenge. Liam Richardson placed 4th.

Jayden Harvey, 20, Central Taranaki Club placed 7th overall and was the winner of the Agri Growth Challenge in an impressive first Regional Final performance, showing he will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

Mr Lewis 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.

Mr Lewis is off to the Grand Final in Christchurch, 3-5 July where he will battle it out for the Contest Champion’s title and over $300,000 in prizes. All three contestants that have qualified to date have previous Grand Final experience.

Mr Lewis managers his family farm Lewis Dairies in Levin, where they have a herd of 500 Friesian crosses. To prepare for Grand Final Mr Lewis said “I will need to find more time off the farm to put in the work required”. Mr Lewis returns to the Grand Final for the second time in 2014 and continues a rich success rate with both of his Regional Final outtings turning into Grand Final visits.

Mr Lewis will be busy during the lead in to the Grand Final with wedding plans to fiancé Laura Kidd taking up any spare time between now and the fast approaching wedding.

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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