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Details of Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final Revealed

Details of FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill Revealed

In less than four months Invercargill will be buzzing with FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final fever.

The iconic agricultural competition marks its 50th anniversary this year, a milestone worthy of celebration.

The last of the seven grand finalists will be decided at the Otago/Southland Regional Final in Winton on April 21st.

A sell-out crowd is expected at ILT Stadium Southland for the main quiz and awards night in July.

“We’re hoping to get 1,200 people, which is the maximum that the venue can seat,” said convener James Goodwin.

The first of the main events kick off on July 5th. Grand finalists will tackle a technical day, while NZ Young Farmers members explore Southland on a mystery bus trip.

“I love a good bus trip,” laughed Te Radar, who’s the official MC for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

“I’ve been on some great ones with NZ Young Farmers.”

“One of my favourite parts of grand final is the social side, where everyone gets on a bus and has a look around someone else’s neighbourhood,” he said.

The rich history of the prestigious contest will be celebrated at a special 50th anniversary dinner that night.

“It’s a chance for past winners, finalists and people who’ve been involved with the competition to reunite,” said James.

“The event’s being held at ILT Stadium Southland and we’re expecting 600 people.”

Memorabilia from past winners is being sought to display at the event.

“A couple of blokes have told us they still have the vehicles that they won in the 70s and 80s, which is really cool,” said James.

The seven grand finalists will complete a gruelling day of fast-paced modules testing their skills on July 6th.

Their ability to cope will determine if they still have a shot at the title.

“When someone makes it to a regional final they’re there, everything’s good and they’re hoping to make it through to the grand final,” said Te Radar.

“But at grand final, you have a one-in-seven chance of taking out the title. That pressure can make or break people,” he said.

All-rounders and quiet achievers who score consistently well across all modules can lead to surprises when the scores are tallied.

“Will Taylor’s a prime example of that, taking out the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final,” said Te Radar.

The TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ prize-giving gets under way at 4pm.

The New Holland National Awards Dinner that night will be an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of NZ Young Farmers members.

It will have a true blue tartan theme.

“I expect we’ll see some kilts and waistcoats and possibly even a tartan suit,” said Te Radar.

The week will culminate with the crowning of the 50th FMG Young Farmer of the Year on Saturday night.

Contest MC Te Radar said the road to grand final is often an emotional one and this year will be no different.

“On a personal level, the thing I look forward to most about grand final are the finalists’ families,” he said.

“When you host seven regional finals, you get to meet them all.”

“New Zealand’s such a small place that by the time you get to grand final you sort have this investment with seven families and with seven finalists’ hopes and dreams.”

“It does become very personal,” he said.

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year helps grow and shape young people and for many, the high-pressure experience will be life-changing.

“The families and friends of contestants watch them transform in the lead-up to regionals, and particularly in the months before grand final,” said Te Radar.

“Even if a finalist doesn’t place, they will be better off simply for having been a part of the competition.”


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