Archery champion takes aim at FMG Young Farmer of the Year title

Posted by on 11 October 2018 | Comments

Tags: , , ,

A two-time world archery champion has joined the race to be the next FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Ben Orchard, 19, has qualified for the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final after finishing second in a district contest in Palmerston North.

“I’m stoked. I only entered because I thought it would be a bit of fun and I like a challenge. I’m really excited,” said Ben.

Competitors spent the day tackling 14 modules testing their practical and theoretical skills.

They had to draft ewes from a mob of and hoggets, use a New Holland telehandler to move a bale of hay around an obstacle course and complete a rural budgeting exercise.

“I enjoyed driving the telehandler. It was my favourite module. They’re quite different to a tractor,” said the Massey Young Farmers member.

Ben’s in his second year studying a Bachelor of AgriCommerce majoring in farm management at Massey University.

He grew up at Mangawai, north of Auckland, where he was home schooled from the age of six.

Ben went on to win two world archery championships in 2011 and 2016.

“Archery is quite a high-pressure sport. You just have to block out everything else, stay calm and focus,” he said.

Ben will be joined at the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final in Whanganui by fellow club member Graham Johnson.

Graham was raised on a mixed dairy, deer, beef and sheep farm in Te Awamutu.

He attended Hamilton Boys’ High School and competed in TeenAg Grand Finals in Taupo and Christchurch.

“It was an amazing experience. My teammate and I placed second in Christchurch,” said the 20-year-old.

Graham spends his weekends working on a sheep and cattle station at Mangatainoka.

He’s studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Massey University.

The two students will face-off against six other competitors in the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year in April.