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Taupo gears up to stage NZ’s Ultimate Rural Challenge

Taupo gears up to stage New Zealand’s Ultimate Rural Challenge

Tickets are on sale now for the 2015 ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Final events, 2-4 July in Taupo.

The competition, in its 47th year, is the flagship event on the rural calendar and is unlike any other competition internationally in its prestige, sponsorship and following.

Over a demanding three days seven Kiwi Young Farmers are put through their paces in all things agriculture – from practical hands-on modules, including the action-packed Agri-Sports challenge, to theory and general knowledge tests.

“This contest is a testament to the calibre of individuals integral to the success of the primary sector,” says Kyle Goodwin, ANZ Young Farmer Contest Chairman.

The Grand Final begins Thursday 2 July with the Official Opening at Lake Taupo Waterfront next to the Yacht Club (free for spectators). The contestants will battle it out in their first Head-to-Head mystery challenge and onlookers will get a taste of the action in store.

The following morning, Friday 3 July, signals the beginning of the Practical Day at Taupo Domain where the seven Grand Finalists will work their way through modules which will test their skills, strength and stamina.

The day will also play host to a variety of other entertaining agricultural events.

Future Young Farmers, the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg competitors, will battle it out in their Grand Finals, 21 teams in each, all vying to take home their respective champion titles.

Spectators can also watch the finalists in the New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) stock judging, fencing and clay target shooting competitions.

In the evening, events head to the Great Lakes Centre for the ANZ Sponsors and Speeches Dinner where the contestants’ rhetoric talents are tested and attendees enjoy a three course meal.

The next day, Saturday 4 July, is devoted to preparation for the live, televised Evening Show, hosted by Mark Leishman at Taupo Events Centre. A cool head and quick wits are vital for the quiz round. By the end of the show, the scores will be tallied and one Young Farmer will be named the 2015 ANZ Young Farmer Contest Champion.

Celebrations will continue into the evening at the black-tie dinner and ball.

“Young Farmers are known for putting on a good show. The events over these few days can be enjoyed by all and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate rural New Zealand,” said Mr Goodwin.

Other events include the annual NZYF Bus Trip, the NZYF Chairman’s Awards Dinner & Debate, AGMARDT Agri-business Breakfast and the NZYF Annual General Meeting.

2015 ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Finalists:
Northern: Douglas McGregor, Kerikeri
Waikato/Bay of Plenty: Dwayne Cowin, Taupo
Taranaki/Manawatu: Pete Fitz-Herbert, Hunterville
East Coast: Sully Alsop, Masterton
Tasman: James Hoban, Culverden
Aorangi: Matt Bell, Hinds
Otago/Southland: Steve Henderson, Awarua

For tickets, the full schedule of events and full contestant profiles visit


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