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Hastings centre stage for next Regional Final

Hastings centre stage for next Regional Final

The East Coast Regional Final of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest is set to be held in Hastings next weekend Saturday 5th April at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Showgrounds.

Eight finalists are contending for a spot at the Grand Final in Christchurch 3-5 July and their share of a $14,000 prize pack including products, services and scholarships from ANZ, Lincoln University, Silver Fern Farms, AGMARDT, Ravensdown, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.

There is a wide range of competitors for this round of eliminations, with a variety of backgrounds, ages and skill sets.

Third time is hopefully a charm for Sully Alsop, 30, of the Wairarapa Club who competed in both the 2012 and 2013 East Coast Regional Finals. He works as an agribusiness consultant in Masterton and is part owner of a farming business with his wife, Katie. Mr Alsop holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Farm Management.

This will be Bernie Cox’s, second try at the Regional Final level. The twenty-six year old belongs to the South Wairarapa Club and works as a lower order sharemilker in Dalefield. Outside of work Mr Cox pursues his passion of preparing and showing pedigree dairy cattle.

Bevan Cameron, 27, of Tikokino Club, is a first time Regional Finalist. He is the fifth generation to manage his family’s 330 Ha sheep and beef farm at Otane. His goals are to increase and diversify the farm, while maintaining efficiency.

Another Tikokino Club member, James Greer, 28, will also be competing. He recently earned his pilot’s licence and spends as much time as possible flying. Mr Greer holds a Diploma in Farm Management and works on his family’s beef finishing farm in the Hawke’s Bay.

Stefan Robinson, 29, of the Wairarapa Club last competed at the regional level two years ago. Mr Robinson is an equity manager of 550 cows near Greytown and his claim to fame is owning an $800 sheep.

Twenty-four year old Timothy Fairweather is also in the running. Mr Fairweather belongs to the Eskview Club and competed at the regional level in 2013. He currently works as a senior shepherd on a sheep and beef property in the foothills of the Kaweka ranges in Hawke’s Bay. He says his job is very rewarding and loves working outside and with animals.

Daniel Seed, 22, is motivated by the challenge of the contest. He belongs to the Ballance Club and this will be his first Regional Final. Mr Seed works as a junior shepherd near Woodville and enjoys working on cars in his spare time.

And lastly, first time competitor Jake Stevens, 24, of the Norsewood/Ashley Clinton Club. Mr Stevens is an assistant manager on a 1300 cow farm in Takapau. He grew up on a farm but never intended on it as a career and worked as a builder and a mechanic before he found himself back in farming. He says the variety of the day to day work is what keeps him interested in farming. When he is not working he enjoys spending time with his family and going hiking.

Also in the midst of the action are the future Young Farmers – the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Regional Final competitions running alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

And, be sure to tune in to ‘Road To The Young Farmer Final’. The series, hosted by Mark Leishman, 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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