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Northern kicks off ANZ Young Farmer Contest


Northern Kicks Off ANZ Young Farmer Contest Regional Finals

The first of seven finalists will be determined next weekend Saturday 9 February as the Northern Region starts the 2013 Regional Finals for the ANZ Young Farmer Contest in Whangarei at the Barge Park Showgrounds and Event Centre.

The contestants will be competing for a spot at the Grand Final in Auckland 16 - 18 May this year. They will also be vying for the winner’s prize pack, valued at $9000, which includes a cash component from ANZ and AGMARDT, a Lincoln University Scholarship, and products from Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, and Husqvarna.

This round will see familiar faces back on the stage along with a few first time competitors in the mix.

Charlie Barr has been a member of the Whangarei Young Farmers Club since 2005 and is no stranger to Regional Finals; this year will be her fourth time around. Charlie is engaged to her partner Lloyd, enjoys ballroom dancing, and works as a Dairy Farm Manager in Oakleigh.

Ian Douglas, the current Chairperson of the Whangarei Young Farmers Club is returning once again after placing second in last year’s Northern Regional Final. The world traveller has been to over 50 countries, enjoys food, wine and has an interest in tropical agriculture. Ian has a partner Rowena and works as a Dairy Farmer. Ian was previously employed as a restaurant manager at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in Melbourne. His long-term goal is to sharemilk 2500 cows in partnership with his brothers.

New to the scene Jamie Lang has his work cut out for him. The youngest of the entrants at 22, Jamie will have to battle it out against the more experienced competitors and among them is his boss, Ian Douglas. He has a partner Katherine, and works as a dairy farmer in Titoki. He has also been employed in retail and in pig farming in England. Jamie is a bit of an adventurer and recently spent ten days hiking over 100km in Sweden above the Arctic Circle.

Another first time contestant is Anna Simpson, Chairperson for the Bay of Islands Young Farmers Club. She is a Dairy Herd Manager and Beef Youngstock Manager. Anna holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture & Agri-Business.

The last of the Whangarei contingent is Benson Horsford. It’s his second time around competing and he is looking forward to the challenge. The 29 year old is married to Chevon with two boys Flynn, 5, and Lachlan, 22 months. Benson is employed as a Second in Command Herd Manager in Kawakawa and enjoys gardening and toy helicopters.

Dan Smith joined the Kaipara Young Farmers Club last year and this will be his first appearance at Regional Finals. At 24 he is working on his motorbike mechanic apprenticeship and hopes to one day have his own workshop. When he is not fixing motorbikes Dan can be found fishing, swimming or kite surfing. He has a partner, Amelia.

Also new to Regional Finals is David Kidd. He joined the Helensville Young Farmers Club last year. David worked in Perth as an agribusiness manager and is now very happy to be away from the desk job and out on the sheep & beef farm in Kaipara Harbour where he is a Manager. He enjoys all things outdoors – hunting, rugby, squash, skiing, travel and has a partner, Janine.

The blushing bride to be Rachel Rogers will be walking down the aisle to her partner Rob only one week after the Northern Regional Final. The 29 year old is a long-time member of Young Farmers and currently belongs to the Auckland City Young Farmers Club. Rachel has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Animal Science and works as a Brand Manager in Northland for Bayer NZ. She loves being on her farm, fishing and hunting.

Also taking place alongside the Regional Finals are the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Competitions – where the younger generation of participants will be competing for a chance at the Grand Final in Auckland 16 - 18 May. The top three teams from each Competition will have the opportunity to progress through.

If you miss the action at the Regional Final you can catch it on the ‘Road To The Young Farmer Final’. The series, hosted by Mark Leishman, follows the seven Regional Finals and covers the seven top achievers who make it through to the Grand Final. Exclusive to TVNZ Heartland watch all the drama on the ‘Road To The Young Farmer Final’ starting Sunday 31 March 2013 8.30pm.

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