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Grayling Rounds Off Fresh Field at Grand Final

Grayling Rounds Off Fresh Field at Grand Final

It will be a completely fresh field at The National Bank Young Farmer Contest Grand Final this year after twenty five year old Will Grayling took out the Aorangi title last night. All seven Grand Finalists will be new to Grand Final level this year – a rare occurrence in the history of the Contest.

It was tough conditions for the Contestants at the Mackenzie A&P Showgrounds, but the damp weather couldn’t keep the supporters away or the spirits of the Contestants down. Spectators lined the Isuzu Agri-Sports area to watch Contestants complete many tasks including stacking bags of fertiliser, felling a tree and even creating their own kilt from the Mackenzie tartan.

Things were a little drier at the Mackenzie Community Centre for the Evening Show that night where a good all-round performance and strong night on the buzzer won it for dairy farmer Will Grayling. The Pendarves Club member manages 800 cows on a dairy farm for Spectrum Group in Ashburton and will be shifting to a 1600 cow operation next season.

As a third time Regional Finalist, Will was “relieved and excited” after the big win and even though he went into the final round with a comfortable lead he wasn’t celebrating until the final question was asked.

“I was confident after it finished! All it takes is a few wrong answers to lose the lead.”

Will, who holds a Master of Applied Science from Lincoln University, is no stranger to studying; he used those skills over the last couple of weeks as he prepared for Regional Final. The study paid off when he kept his cool and answered some tricky questions during the question buzzer rounds at the Mackenzie Community Centre.

He excelled in other areas too – taking out the Lincoln University Agri-growth Challenge and the Isuzu Agri-Sports Challenge.

It’s going to be a big year for Will – he’s marrying his fiancée Kim in December, but in the meantime he’ll be focussed on winning the Grand Final.

“I’ll go away now and work hard on my weaknesses. Seeing as Grand Final is being held in the home of the Golden Shears I might have to practice shearing some sheep!”

Last year’s Grand Finalist, Andrew “Captain” Scott came in second, 29 points behind Will. He also won the Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge. The other Andrew Scott (Scotty) finished the night in third place and rounding off the top four was Phil Campbell who also won the AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge.

19 year old Caleb Strowger from the Five Forks Club was a late addition to the line-up after Jared Clarke had to withdraw from the Contest. Sadly Jared’s younger brother Mitchell passed away in a tragic accident over the weekend. A moments silence was held for Mitchell at the Evening Show and New Zealand Young Farmers wishes to pass on their sincere condolences to the Clarke family and friends on behalf of all NZYF members at this difficult time.

A further $4600 was raised for the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Fund, taking New Zealand Young Farmer’s total contribution to the fund at over $100,000. Thanks must be made to everyone who has contributed to the fund through the Road to Recovery Auctions, cash donations and of course the outstanding efforts of the North Otago Young Farmer’s Club who raised over $68,000 through a stock sale in March.

Some very hardy children competed in wet conditions during the AgriKidsNZ Competition, but the enthusiasm was as high as always. The Chesters from Pleasant Point Primary took out the top spot followed by St Joseph’s School (Pleasant Point) teams Sheep Beef and Dairy and St Joseph’s men respectively.

TeenAg also took place at the Mackenzie A&P Showgrounds. Matt Walker and Andrew McKercher (also known as the Tussock Jumpers) from Mackenzie College crossed the finish line first, closely followed by the Rosewill Girls (Samantha Gray and Gina Shaw from Craighead Diocesan and Mountainview High School) and in third place from St Kevin’s; Matt Daly and Will Plunket. These top three teams along with the AgriKidsNZ top three will also get the chance to head to Grand Final in Masterton.

For those that missed all the action in Fairlie; the Aorangi Regional Final will feature on TVNZ 7’s Road to the Young Farmer Final on June 25th and supporters can cheer on their favourite Grand Finalists by leaving a message on the fence at www.goyoungfarmer.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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