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David Kidd wins 2014 ANZ Young Farmer Contest


David Kidd wins 2014 ANZ Young Farmer Contest

After a grueling competition David Kidd of Northern is the 2014 ANZ Young Farmer Contest Champion.

"It's still all sinking in, but it feels absolutely fantastic," said Mr Kidd.

In the 46 years of the contest's history, Mr Kidd is the first Northern Grand Finalist to take the title.

Winning could be in his blood because thirty years ago, when Mr Kidd was just born, his father Richard Kidd was competing at the 1984 Timaru Grand Final where he placed third. Mr Kidd joked that his inspiration for competing was to do better than his father, and added that he'll be rubbing it in when he sees him.

Second place went to Tasman's Reuben Carter who also won the Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge and Dean Rabbidge of Otago/Southland placed third overall.

The youngest competitor, twenty-five year old James Davidson of Aorangi took out the Silver Fern Farms Agri-Sports Challenge and East Coast's Sully Alsop won the AGMARDT Agri-Business Challenge. Mr Kidd also took home the Lincoln University Agri-Growth Challenge.

The ANZ Young Farmer Contest stretches competitor's mental dexterity, physical stamina and showcases the sophistication of modern farming.

Today's farmer not only has to be well versed in all modern farming practices but needs to be an accountant, meteorologist, economist, marketing executive, HR specialist and much more.

The seven Grand Finalists were put through their paces over three days of competition in Christchurch, 3-5 July.

The events opened on Thursday at Lincoln University with a Head-To-Head Challenge where competitors auctioned livestock to a crowd of potential buyers and onlookers.

The Practical Day events were held Friday at Lincoln University which saw contestants demonstrating skills such as match ploughing, windrowing, assembling an irrigation system and building and maintaining a miniature farm. They were also tested on engine mechanics, animal health and welding.

In the technical elements of the competition contestants had to present a business plan, go through a panel interview and work out an HR scenario.

After the practical events, they were given less than a few hours to prepare a speech anddeliver it at the ANZ Sponsors and Speeches Dinner held at Wigram Airforce Museum.

Come Saturday night at CBS Arena it was neck and neck for the evening show as contestants battled through the final hurdle of quick-fire question rounds. It was a narrow point spread during the quiz show, but Mr Kidd eventually edged out the competition and won by just two points.

Mr Kidd holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture and works as a manager on a beef breeding and finishing farm, of which he is a partner, at Shelley Beach on the South Kaipara Head Peninsula.

He is a member of the Auckland City Young Farmers Club and the Northern Regional Chair for New Zealand Young Farmers. He says he hopes the win will encourage other Northern Young Farmers members to compete and to "realize that [they] can foot it with everyone else on the big stage."

Mr Kidd thanked all his family and supporters for making the trip to Christchurch to cheer him on and acknowledged his fellow competitors for making it such an enjoyable experience.

He also thanked the sponsors for all the time and energy their companies put into the competition.

And, Mr Kidd made a special mention to his new wife Janine for her dedication and even promised they would finally take their honeymoon.

The winner will go home with nearly $70,000 in prizes including $10,000 cash from ANZ, entrance to Kellogg's Rural Leadership Programme from Lincoln University valued at $6,000, Ravensdown and C-Dax products worth $7,000, a $2,000 AGMARDT scholarship towards a career development, a gourmet BBQ and farm technology package from Silver Fern Farms and FarmIQ worth $10,000, a Honda ATV and generator worth $19,700, Husqvarna power equipment worth $7,000 and Vodafone products and services to the value of $7,000.

1. David Kidd – Northern 303pts
2. Reuben Carter – Tasman 301pts
3. Dean Rabbidge – Otago/Southland 293pts
4. Dwayne Cowin – Wai/BoP 289pts
5. Sully Alsop – East Coast 288pts
6. Brad Lewis – Tara/Man 277pts
7. James Davidson – Aorangi 275pts


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