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Regional Finals Heat Up In Hamilton

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 07/02/2012

Regional Finals Heat Up In Hamilton

The next round of eliminations is set for the Waikato and Bay of Plenty Region Saturday 16 February in Hamilton at St. Paul’s Collegiate.

The contestants will be vying for a spot at the Grand Final in Auckland 16 - 18 May this year. Participants will be competing for their share of the Regional Final prize pool valued at nearly $13,000, which includes cash components from ANZ and AGMARDT, a Lincoln University Scholarship, and products from Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, and Husqvarna. The top prize is worth $9,000.

To get their hands on those prizes the contestants will first have to complete four demanding challenges during the Practical Day and then they will face the big questions during the Evening Show.

There is strong competition and plenty of experience among the Wai/BoP contenders this year.

Dwayne Cowin, 27, is a stock manager at Eight Mile Farms in Te Kuiti and is the current Vice-Chairperson from North King Country Young Farmers Club. This will be Dwayne’s third time competing at Regional Final level.

Tim van de Molen, 30, is a member of Hamilton City Young Farmers Club and was runner up at the 2011 Grand Final. Tim also picked up the Rural Young Achiever award in 2012. He keeps a busy schedule working as an agri-manager for ANZ, owning a crop and drystock farm, and is in the army reserves.

James Bryan, 27, of the Cambridge Young Farmers Club has plenty of experience competing in fencing, shearing and placed first nationally in 2011-12 in small bore rifle shooting, but he will need a steady hand for this challenge as this is his first Regional Final.

Wayne Hofmann, 26, is a long time Young Farmers member and currently belongs to Waihi Club. He has high hopes to make it to the Grand Final.

The only female to compete in this round is Sophia Clark. The 24 year old is a member and the events coordinator for North King Country Club. She enjoys dog trials and hopes to enter her young huntaway in a trial this year.

James Booker, 26, has been a member of Ngarua Young Farmers Club for five years where he is the current Vice-Chairperson. James has competed at District Finals three times and currently works as an equity manager for Waiwaiti Holdings in Te Aroha. He has his sights set on a leadership or governance role within the agriculture industry.

James Courtman, 28, is a first time competitor from the Hauraki Young Farmers Club where he is the current Chairman. James has a flare for competition and hopes to one day own a winning racehorse and coach cricket.

Josh Cozens, 24, of the Eastern Bay Young Farmers Club is married to Sharon with three children aged 3, 2, and a new born, who will no doubt be there to cheer Dad on. This will be James’ first time participating at the Regional Finals. He is employed as a herd manager and enjoys his motorbikes.

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.

For more information go to www.youngfarmercontest.co.nz

ENDS

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