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Hard yards pay dividends in Methven

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18/03/13

Hard yards pay dividends in Methven

Matthew Bell is the latest Grand Finalist to be named for the 2013 ANZ Young Farmer Contest. Matthew will be joining six other contestants at the Grand Final in Auckland 16-18 May.

“It’s still all sinking in…I’m over the moon!”, commented Matthew on his triumph on Saturday (16 March) in the Aorangi Regional Final at the Methven A&P Showgrounds and Heritage Centre.

Sam Bryan was runner up followed by Phil Campbell and Phil Wilson placing third and fourth respectively.

During the practical day the eight contestants were put through their paces in a variety of challenging modules touching on all aspects of farming from practical hands on tasks to theory and business components.

Phil Campbell took out the AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge and Nigel Woodhead won the crowd pleasing Silver Fern Farms Agri-sport and Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenges. Matthew prevailed in the Lincoln University Agri-growth Challenge and later took a commanding lead during the evening show question round.

Matthew sites hard work, dedication and a strong support team contributing to his win. “Like most things in life, if you want to do well, you have to work for it”, he said.

Matthew studied for at least two hours every night with his partner Samantha, and his Young Farmers Club in Hinds proved to be a very valuable support network. They organised weekly quiz nights down at the pub and plenty of them made the trip to Methven to cheer him on.

All the hard work paid off in the end, Matthew walked away with his share of the impressive prize pool valued at $9000 and included cash components from ANZ and AGMARDT, a Lincoln University Scholarship, and products from Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, Honda and Husqvarna.

Matthew, 26, is tremendously passionate about farming and the agriculture industry. He stressed the importance of bridging the gap between rural and urban communities and educating people about the important role of agriculture in the New Zealand economy.

Matthew holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in agriculture and is employed as a dairy farm manager near Mayfield. He is working on building up his equity and moving towards his goal of 50/50 sharemilking and ultimately owning a sheep & beef farm.

There was plenty of excitement and enthusiasm in the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Competitions running alongside the Regional Final.

“It was great to see our local kids having a go and really enjoying themselves. Everyone was really keen to do well in every module,” commented AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Project Leader Josie Hampton.

The top three teams from each competition will have the opportunity to compete in the Grand Final.

The Hinds Warriors, Samuel Wilson, Mary Yateman and Hayden Jefferson from Hinds Primary School placed first in the AgriKidsNZ Competition followed by Gilly's Giants, Jack Giltrap, Sam Giltrap and Cameron Long from Springston Primary in second and Ashburton Allstars, Jared Mattson, Ben Chambers and Shelby Winiana of Ashburton Intermediate in third.

In first place for the TeenAg Competition was Samantha and Sophie, Samantha Gray and Sophie Eggleton from Craighead Diocesan School followed by two Timaru Boys High School teams, Cavemen, Adam Callaghan and Matt Hurst and Hino Havlers, Tom Wright and Joseph Hayward in third place.

All the action from the Regional Finals is captured on 'Road To The Young Farmer Final'. The series, hosted by Mark Leishman, follows the seven finalists who make it through to the Grand Final. Exclusive to TVNZ Heartland watch the 'Road To The Young Farmer Final' starting Sunday 31 March 2013 8.30pm.

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

ENDS

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