Qualifying rounds begin for FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Posted by on 23 September 2019 | Comments


The first qualifying rounds for the next FMG Young Farmer of the Year kick off next week.

Eighteen district contests will be held across the country before Christmas.

The events will help find 56 competitors who will clash in seven FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional finals early next year.

“I’ve entered to test my skills and knowledge and to meet other young farmers,” said Lincoln Young Farmers member Tom Adkins.

“This is my first time competing and I’d really like to make it through to the later stages of the contest in years to come.”

The 20-year-old, who was raised on a sheep and beef farm near Whanganui, is studying a Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University.

He’s landed a job working as a shepherd at Te Mania Angus in North Canterbury this summer.

“I got the job after going up there on a club field trip. I’m really passionate about beef and sheep breeding and genetics,” he said.

Tom’s signed up for the district contest at Springston, southwest of Christchurch, on October 19th.

He’ll face off against Wairarapa-born Sarah Whiteman, 23, who’s an assistant cereal breeder at PGG Wrightson Seeds.

She helps develop new varieties of wheat and barley. It’s her second time entering the contest.

“Last year I entered in the ‘have a go’ category, which enables people to complete the modules in pairs,” said Sarah.

“It was heaps of fun and a great confidence booster. I don’t have a farming background and it helped me realise I actually know what I’m doing.”

Sarah will compete in her own right next month, meaning she’ll be eligible to qualify for a spot in the Tasman regional final in March.

“I’ve entered to challenge myself, learn new things and meet people from other NZ Young Farmers clubs,” she said.

The first district contest kicks off in Palmerston North on October 5th.

The events are designed to test the practical and theoretical skills of competitors.

“Everyone has their own reason for entering the district contests,” said Danielle Holland from NZ Young Farmers.

“It’s a chance for members to benchmark themselves, have fun, and importantly to qualify for the next stage of the contest.”

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year is an iconic contest which began in 1969 and showcases the country’s food and fibre sector.

The event is supported by FMG, Ravensdown, Honda, WorkSafe, STIHL, Lincoln University, Massey University, Southfuels/Northfuels, Betacraft and New Holland.

The dates of each district contest are listed below. 



9th November – Kaikohe

30th November – Waimauku


Waikato/Bay of Plenty

16th November – Reporoa

23th November – Huntly

23th November – Morrinsville

30th November - Piopio


East Coast

9th November – Pongoroa

30th November – Gisborne



5th October – Palmerston North

9th November – Feilding

16th November – Eltham

30th November – Stratford



12th October – Waipopo Farm

19th October – Mt Somers



19th October – Springston

26th October – Rangiora



19th October – Middlemarch

16th November – Mossburn