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Josh Cozens named Waikato/Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer

Josh Cozens named Waikato/Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer of the Year

An Edgecumbe dairy farmer has been named the Waikato/Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Josh Cozens, 29, took out the title after winning the fiercely-contested Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final in Rotorua tonight.

The event saw seven finalists tackle a series of gruelling modules, including a fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz.

It was the contract milker’s third attempt at the title.

“I’m absolutely blown away. I wasn’t expecting this at all,” said Josh.

“All the effort I’ve put in over the years has been worth it.”

The win has secured the father of three a spot in the prestigious FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill.

Josh told the large crowd at the event that it’s going to be a hectic few months.

“The study I have to do between now and July will certainly keep me busy,” he said.

“Plus, we’re moving farms as well, so there’s going to be lots happening.”

Next season, Josh and his wife Shaz will be contract milking 450 cows at Pyes Pa near Tauranga.

“We hope to be 50:50 sharemilking or in an equity partnership within three to five years,” he said.

The Eastern Bay Young Farmers member won almost $12,000 worth of prizes, including an XR150 Honda farm bike.

The qualified automotive service technician also took out the Agri-Sports Challenge.

Second place went to Colin Tremain, who manages a 1,750-cow dairy farm and support unit in Rotorua.

The 30-year-old won the coveted Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge.

Putaruru contract milker Eoin O’Mahony took out third place and the AGMARDT Agri-Business Challenge.

Waharoa 50:50 sharemilker Sophia Clark won the Meridian Energy Agri-Knowledge Challenge.

She was described by the MC Te Radar as an “intellectual powerhouse”.

Te Awamutu 50:50 sharemilker Rachael Phillips took home the Massey University Agri-Growth Challenge.

A record number of women competed in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year - an iconic agricultural competition which began in 1969

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