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Otago/Southland kicks off ANZ Young Farmer Regionals

Otago/Southland kicks off ANZ Young Farmer Contest Regional Finals

The first of seven Grand Finalists will be determined next weekend, Saturday 7 February as Otago/Southland starts the 2015 Regional Finals for the ANZ Young Farmer Contest in Queenstown.

“This contest season is shaping up to be very impressive, every year the calibre of contestants continues to impress,” says Terry Copeland, Chief Executive of New Zealand Young Farmers – organisers of the event.

The eight finalists are contending for a spot at the Grand Final in Taupo 2 – 4 July and their share of an impressive prize pack worth over $271,000 in products, services and scholarships from ANZ, FMG, Lincoln University, Silver Fern Farms, AGMARDT, Ravensdown, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.

“The support from sponsors and the community is invaluable, they are not only supporting the Contest but the future of agriculture and together with Young Farmers we are driving the industry forward,” said Mr Copeland.

The Otago/Southland Regional Final will see an outstanding group of contenders (under the age of 31) come together for what will be a full on day of practical, physical and theoretical challenges at the Queenstown Primary School. The popular Agri-sport Challenge is being staged on the site of the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games which is being held at the Queenstown Recreation Ground. The free entry Practical Day events will be followed by a ticketed evening quiz-show held at the Queenstown Memorial Hall.

John White, 30, from the Nightcaps Young Farmers Club, says he is not afraid of a hard work and looks forward to the challenge of his second crack at Regional Final level of the Contest. Along with his wife, John owns a contract milking business and manages a dairy farm at Riverton with 450 cows. John also provides farm support systems to various farming businesses in Southland and believes New Zealand Young Farmers is a key organisation for young rural professionals to be involved in.

Steven Henderson, 28, from the Waitane Young Farmers Club is in his third round of Regional Finals. The twenty-eight year old is a very active member of his Young Farmers Club as well as the Winton Fire Service. Alongside his wife, Steve is sharemilking 320 cows in Winton.

Olivia Ross, 26, of the Balfour Young Farmers Club is one of the few women competing at this level. The twenty-six year old works as Senior Technical Consultant for Outgro Fertiliser and has competed at District Final level on and off for the past six years. Olivia is passionate about her community and is involved in a number of activities including the local Fire Brigade, Lions Club and Young Farmers. She is also a keen horse woman and competes on the NZ Rodeo Circuit.

James Davie, 25, from the Thornbury Young Farmers Club is competing at Regional Final level for the first time. Mr Davie admits to having a competitive nature that he hopes paired with a good work ethic will help him to victory. James farms alongside his wife and family at Groper’s Bush on a sheep and beef property which they also use for dairy support.

Hamish Robinson, 22, representing the Wyndham Young Farmers Club is now in his second year out of Lincoln University and competing for a second time at Regional Final level. Hamish was bought up on a sheep and beef farm but since leaving university has moved to work in the dairy industry for his share in some “white gold”.

Logan Wallace, 25, of the Clinton Young Farmers Club is a hot contender for the Otago/Southland winner’s title having come runner up in the 2014 Regional Final. Mr Wallace runs a 290ha sheep farm in Waipahi and is heavily involved in the local youth group in his spare time. He says competing in the Contest helps Young Farmers network further and widen their farming knowledge.

Ben Gardyne, 22, of the Waitane Club is a Farm Consultant across Otago and Southland. It is his first time at Regional Final level and holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture. Mr Gardyne is an avid rugby player and also loves his motorbikes.

Lyndon Wallace, 22, from the Waitane Young Farmers Club is an experienced competitor with two Regional Finals under his belt, Lyndon believe his practical mind and passion for agriculture will aid his success in the Contest. Mr Wallace stock manages 1500ha of sheep and beef country at Waimumu.

Also in the midst of the action are the future Young Farmers – the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg competitions will be running alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

Further details and Evening Show tickets are available


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