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New host announced for Young Farmer Contest

New host announced for Young Farmer Contest

Craig Wiggins has been announced as the new compere of The National Bank Young Farmer Contest. Craig, known by most as Wiggy, has been slowly easing into the role since the Grand Final launch in Masterton last year.

Over the past few months Craig has been attending Regional Finals and getting a first-hand view of The Ultimate Rural Challenge and can’t wait to get started as the new voice of The National Bank Young Farmer Contest.

“I’m really looking forward to stepping into the role; it’s going to be great watching the Contestants improve over the years and to see our youth being further educated in agriculture.”

Craig, a former mechanic by trade, brings a long history of announcing to the role; he’s the main announcer for New Zealand Rodeo and travels the country announcing around 35 rodeos a year. Craig has also been a jet sprints commentator and has acted as Master of Ceremonies at many different events during his announcing career. He has television and radio experience as a result of his career too.

Originally off a 300 hectare sheep and beef unit in Raetihi, Craig now lives near Ashburton in Mid Canterbury on a 28 hectare horse training and dairy grazing property. Craig’s background in agriculture meant he jumped at the chance to be a part of the iconic Contest.

“I’ve always been an avid follower of The National Bank Young Farmer Contest, my farming background means it’s something that has always appealed to me.”
Craig has attended all the Regional Finals in 2011 where he has been observing the current compere Jim Hopkins while gaining a full understanding of how the Contest works.

“I’ve been observing Jim and the Contest a lot and I’ve also had the chance to commentate a couple of Head to Head Challenges along with the Isuzu Agri-sports Challenge and the first half of the evening show at the Tasman Regional Final last week.”

“I’ve also commentated for AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg and it’s been great being involved in different things behind the scenes like scoring and helping pack up at the Evening Shows – it’s given me the chance to see all the nuts and bolts of the Contest.”

Craig believes that crowd involvement is a key ingredient to any good event; as a rodeo announcer he spends a lot of time getting the crowd involved to try and create an exciting atmosphere for the audience and the competitors alike.
“I want to bring a bit more crowd interaction into the Practical Day – I want to bridge the gap between Contestants and the viewing public.”

As Craig moves into taking over the announcing full time, it’s the people he’s met and the experiences he’s had so far that has made him even more excited to be a part of The National Bank Young Farmer Contest.

“So far I’ve really been enjoying meeting all the good people involved with the Contest and New Zealand Young Farmers; the Contestants, the industry leaders, and of course all the members that give up their time to volunteer.”


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