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East Coast Young Farmers to be put to the test

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

The fourth ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Finalist will be determined next weekend, Saturday 21 March at the East Coast Regional Final held in Greytown.

“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 East Coast 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 Greytown’s Memorial Park. Entry to Practical Day is free to the public. The Practical Day events will be followed by a ticketed evening quiz-show held at the Kuranui College auditorium.

Daniel Blackman, 27, of the Balance Young Farmers Club is competing at Regional Final level for the first time but is no stranger to the Contest having competed at District level twice before. Daniel is a herd manager on a 215 cow dairy farm within a dairy, sheep and beef operation. In his spare time Daniel likes to go snowboarding, mountaineering and participating in other outdoor pursuits. Daniel is an active member of his Young Farmers club and enjoys the networking and competition opportunities the organisation brings.

Mitch Nation, 23, is representing the Dannevirke Young Farmers Club in his first shot at Regional Farmer Contest. Mitch manages a 950 hectare sheep and beef block on the coast of Dannevirke running 1800 Highlander Stud ewes as well as 2000 commercial ewes. He also runs 300 beef bulls to fatten and kill. The Chairman of the Dannevirke Young Farmers Club, in his spare time Mitch also enjoys playing rugby, hunting and fishing. Mitch believes his practical and technological knowledge will help him become the next ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Champion.

Tim Fairweather, 25, from the Eskview Young Farmers Club is competing in his third Regional Final. Tim is a stock manager on a 660 hectare sheep and beef breeding and finishing property south of Hastings. Tim believes his strong work ethic, practical skills and willingness to study will help him move onto the next stage of competition. When he has free time Tim likes to go trout fishing on Lake Taupo, wake-boarding as well as motorbike trail-riding.

Stefan Robinson, 30, of the Wairarapa Young Farmers Club is another seasoned competitor with two Regional Finals under his belt. Stefan is an equity manager of 550 cows on 200 hectares of flat, irrigated land. Stefan likes the governance opportunities New Zealand Young Farmers brings, where members can be a part of their Club, District, Regional and National executives. He believes the organisation gives young rural people the chance to network and develop professionally they cannot get anywhere else.

Morgan Lissington, 27, is another member of the Wairarapa Young Farmers Club and is having his first shot at the ANZ Young Farmer Contest. Morgan is a stock agent for Advance Livestock, dealing mainly in Dairy and Dairy Beef but also some work with lambs. In his spare time Morgan enjoys going hunting and fishing, tramping, diving and Young Farmers Club activities. Morgan believes his academic ability and practical skills will put him above the rest in the Regional Final.

Eugene Pitt, 24, is hoping to make the Dannevirke Young Farmers Club proud in his first attempt at the ANZ Young Farmer Contest. Eugene is involved in multiple ventures within agriculture, running his own crutching run and running 150 ewes and cattle across multiple blocks within the Weber District. Eugene is currently working toward becoming qualified in ultra-sound scanning for the coming season. Eugene studied a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics at Massey University but has since decided to follow his true passion of farming.

Hamish Best, 25, of the Eskview Young Farmers Club is another competitor in his first round of Regional Finals. Hamish works for Agri-Com as the Eastern North Island Sales Manager and spends a lot of time on the road building relationships with rural suppliers such as Farmlands, PGGW and RD1. In this role he also designs forage cropping plans for farmers to help improve feed pinches and productivity. In his spare time Hamish tries to get away to play golf, go hunting, attend Young Farmers events and other social activities.

Sully Alsop, 30, of the Wairarapa Young Farmers Club is in his fourth consecutive year at Regional Final level – he was a Grand Finalist in the 2014 ANZ Young Farmer Contest. Sully works as a sheep and beef consultant for Baker & Associates in Masterton aside from this Sully and his wife also run a 370 hectare sheep and beef farm with 2,000 breeding ewes and 160 cattle. In his spare time Sully plays rugby for East Coast, surfs as well as going diving and hunting. In his last attempt at the ANZ Young Farmer Contest Sully is confident his past experience, theoretical knowledge and practical skills will hold him in good stead to take out the 2015 Grand Champion title.

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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