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Rural Bachelor to take on brother

16th March 2018

Rural Bachelor to take on brother in FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Rural Bachelor of the Year Matthew McAtamney has his sights set on a new challenge in 2018.

The 27-year-old wants to beat his older brother Josh McAtamney in New Zealand’s most prestigious agricultural contest.

The pair are both competing in the Aorangi Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year next month.

“We’re both extremely competitive,” said Matthew, who’s the youngest of three boys.

The siblings grew up on a sheep, beef and deer farm at Mayfield in mid Canterbury.

Matthew manages a 330-hectare block at Fairlie carrying sheep, beef and deer, which is run in conjunction with his parents’ station.
Josh was a shepherd in Southland and Gisborne, before making a career change to dairying several years ago.

The 29-year-old now contract milks 950 cows at Carew and fattens bulls.

“Prior to that I managed a 1,030-cow dairy farm,” he said.

Josh was encouraged to join NZ Young Farmers by Matthew. His wife Hannah entered him into the contest.

“I enjoy the practical modules and I really want to beat my brother,” laughed Josh.

The keen rugby player and water skier has age on his side.

“I’ve been farming longer than he has,” said Josh.

“But he was the 2017 Rural Bachelor of the Year, so he probably has better people skills than me.”

Matthew has a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Tourism and Marketing from Otago University.

He’s worked on sheep and cropping farms in Western Australia.

In 2015, the eager traveller volunteered to help build shelters in Nepal after a devastating earthquake flattened entire villages.

“It was right before the monsoon season, so the pressure was on to rebuild as quickly as possible,” said Matthew.

The 27-year-old has travelled through Europe, Asia, South America, USA and Canada.

“My motto is ‘once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before’,” he said.

Josh and Matthew will face off against six other finalists on April 14th.

The Aorangi Regional Final is being held at the Waimate A&P Showgrounds. The evening show, hosted by Te Radar, is at the Waimate Shears Pavilion.

The winner will represent the region at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill in July.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the iconic agricultural competition which was first held in 1969.

Photos can be found by clicking on this link:


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