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FMG Young Farmer of the Year kicks off in Toko

7th November 2016

Marton Young Farmers member secures spot in FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional final

The race to represent Taranaki/Manawatu in New Zealand’s most prestigious primary industries competition has begun.

The first district contest and skills day for the 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the Year was held on Saturday near Stratford.

Twelve contestants were put through their paces by judges assessing their agricultural knowledge and practical skills.

They included Michael McCombs, Alana Booth, George Watson and James Beattie from Marton Young Farmers.

“Contestants did everything from a budget, to setting up a shearing handpiece, driving a digger and measuring pasture,” said Central Taranaki Young Farmers chairman Nick Brown.

“The competition’s a great confidence builder.”

“This year there’s been a real push for young farmers to just ‘have a go’. It’s fun and a good way to learn and test their skills.”

“The top two place getters, Michael McCombs and Blair Briscoe, now go through to the regional final,” said Mr Brown.

Michael McCombs, who manages a 300-cow dairy farm in Kimbolton, described his win as a surprise.

“I wasn’t expecting to come first. It was a great achievement,” said Mr McCombs.

“I’ll now be doing a lot of study ahead of the regional final in Hawera next year.”

“The competition is a fantastic way to expand my general knowledge and broaden my skill base,” he added.

Mr McCombs was named Dairy Trainee of the Year in the 2015 Taranaki Dairy Industry Awards.

The Toko event was organised by Central Taranaki Young Farmers.

Its members will compete for spots in the regional final when they take part in the next district contest and skills day in Okato.

The day wouldn’t have been possible without the support of FMG, Energy Honda, ANZ Bank, Ravensdown, Taratahi and Hire Smart.


One farmer will represent Taranaki/Manawatu in the 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

The national final will be held next July in Fielding.

Four district contests and skills days are being held in Taranaki/Manawatu.
The Taranaki dates are below:
November 5th 2016, Toko
December 10th 2016, Okato

Eight competitors from Taranaki/Manawatu will go through to the regional final in Hawera in April 2017.

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