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Bridesmaid no more

Bridesmaid no more

After placing second for the past three years Dwayne Cowin has finally shaken the “bridesmaid tag” and will be representing Waikato/Bay of Plenty at the Grand Final of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

Mr Cowin secured first place at the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final in Taupo, Saturday 22 March at the Tongariro Domain and Taupo Great Lake Centre. He also took out the AGMARDT Agri-business and the Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenges.

He 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.

“It was not a particularly easy win, there were a few curve balls in there and it certainly tested everyone’s ability,” said Mr Cowin.

Second place went to Erica van Reenen of the Hamilton City Club. Miss van Reenen also won the Lincoln University Agri-Growth Challenge.

Bas Nelis of the Piarere Club and Brady Mitchell of the Reporoa Club placed third and fourth respectively. And, Michael Courtman of the Hauraki Club, who placed seventh overall, won in the Silver Fern Farms Agri-skills Challenge.

Mr Cowin was impressed with his fellow competitors and commended their efforts. “They all did very well. There were a number of first time entrants and that’s what it’s all about - getting out there and giving it a go,” he said.

Mr Cowin belongs to the Reporoa Young Farmers Club and his fellow members were out in full force for the event. “The club support was amazing,” he said. “They had a big crew and they were pretty vocal, it made quite the difference.”

The twenty-eight year old holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and is a stock manager at Lochinver Station. He is progressing towards his ultimate goal of sharefarming or leasing a sheep and beef farm within the next ten years, but in the meantime he says he is working on developing his management skills.

He is passionate about agriculture and contends, like many, that the primary industry is the backbone of New Zealand. He also enjoys the variety of work and the challenges it presents, “no two seasons are the same,” he says.

Mr Cowin is the fifth Grand Finalist to be named and he will be joining six other Young Farmers from across the country 3-5 July in Christchurch at the Grand Final where over $300,000 in prizes is up for grabs.

“It’s pretty good to get rid of that bridesmaid tag, but it’s going to be a big step up at Grand Final,” said Mr Cowin.

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, 9.30pm exclusively on TVNZ Heartland.

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