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Tasman Young Farmers to be put to the test

Tasman Young Farmers to be put to the test in ANZ Young Farmer Contest Regional Final

The third ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Finalist will be determined next weekend, Saturday 14 March at the Tasman Regional Final held in Kirwee.

“This contest season is shaping up to be very exciting, every year the calibre of contestants continues to improve and 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 Tasman Regional Final will see an outstanding group of eight contestants (under the age of 31) come together for what will be a full on day of practical, physical and theoretical challenges at the Kirwee Showgrounds. The Practical Day events will be followed by a ticketed evening quiz-show held at the Kirwee Hall with special guest judge, Hon. Amy Adams.

James Hoban, 29, of the Hurunui Young Farmers Club competes in the Tasman Regional Final for the second consecutive year after finishing 4th in 2014. James works three jobs - free-lance journalist for Country-Wide, part time sheep farmer on the home block and working as a Farm Environment Consultant. Outside of work James enjoys a range of activities, including cricket, showing Corriedale sheep and restoring vintage machinery as well as spending time with his wife Maria, and two children.

Karl Dean, 25, is representing the Dunsandel Young Farmers Club in his second attempt at Regional Final level. Karl is a lower order share milker on a 700 cow dairy farm in Killinchy. Recently married, in his spare time Karl enjoys spending time with his wife, helping out at his Young Farmers Club and enjoying all sorts of outdoor activities. Karl believes his wide industry knowledge and competition experience will help him to victory in 2015.

Nathan Broerse, 25, is out to make the Amuri Basin Young Farmers Club proud in his first attempt at Regional Final level. Working as a mixed-practise Vet in Culverden Nathan is a keen horseman who in his spare time plays polo and intends to hunt his young horse Fanta in the coming season. He also enjoys rabbit shooting, 4WD and rugby. Nathan says Young Farmers is a great way for rural people to network and have a helping hand into the industry.

Willis Ritchie, 25, is an active Dunsandel Young Farmers Club member. Willis is a second in charge dairy farmer on a 750 cow, 200 hectare farm in Dunsandel. In his spare time Willis likes to play guitar, socialise and help out on friend’s farms. Willis believes his good all-round capability and high standard of work will help him in the 2015 ANZ Young Farmer Contest. This is Willis’s first time competing at Regional Final level.

Robin Hornblow, 27, is another member of the Dunsandel Young Farmers Club in his first attempt at Regional Final level. Robin is the Farm Manager of a 1050 cow dairy farm in Te Pirita for Prairie Farm Ltd which is owned by the Camden Group. Robin is a keen traveller, rugby player and Young Farmers member. He also enjoys lawn bowls, skiing, fishing and touch rugby. Robin believes his “give it a go” attitude and wide knowledge of farming practices will aid his success in the Contest.

James Rogatski, 28, of the Grey Valley Young Farmers Club is having his first shot at Regional Final level of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest. James is an Agri-Manager for Ravensdown in the South Westland area; he has been in this role for two years. In his spare time James enjoys all things outdoors such as jet-boating, hunting and fishing. James is a passionate NZYF member who believes the organisation is key to introducing and supporting youth in agriculture.

Sarah O’Connell, 30, is a well-seasoned competitor in the ANZ Young Farmer Contest from the Dunsandel Club. In her 5th round of Regional Finals and final year of being eligible to compete, the only female competitor in the field is determined to go the distance. Sarah works as an Extension Officer for Beef + Lamb New Zealand as well as running her own Angus and Shorthorn cattle stud. In her spare time Sarah plays hockey, shows cattle and enjoys partaking in Young Farmers activities.

Andrew Wiffen, 27, from the Renwick Young Farmers Club is in his fourth round of Regional Finals. Andrew works on the family sheep and beef property in Coastal Marlborough, they run 1900 Romney ewes and 150 cattle. In his spare time Andrew enjoys gardening, hunting and fishing as well as bee-keeping. Andrew loves agriculture because of the variety of challenges farmers face every day, over-coming these and seeing rewards for hard work.

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 from


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