Sell-out crowd for 50th FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill

Posted by on 3 July 2018 | Comments

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Finalists competing in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final will arrive in Invercargill today.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the iconic agricultural contest, which was first held in Auckland in 1969.

A sell-out crowd of more than 1,000 people will pack ILT Stadium Southland for Saturday’s quiz and awards night.

“The 50th anniversary celebrations have given this year’s event an X factor,” said contest board chairman Dean Rabbidge.

It’s the first time the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final has been held in Southland since 2010.

“Everything is falling into place rather nicely,” said Dean.

“A team of dedicated volunteers has spent the past 10 days getting everything set up.”

The contest kicks off on Thursday with a technical day for grand finalists at the Southern Institute of Technology.

An opening ceremony featuring a tug of war will be held in Queens Park that afternoon.

It will be followed by a sell-out 50th anniversary dinner at ILT Stadium Southland celebrating the contest’s rich history.

“About 400 people have bought tickets for the dinner. Many are former winners and grand finalists,” said Carolyn Bennett from NZ Young Farmers.

Invercargill’s Donovan Park will be buzzing for practical day on Friday.

The public will get to see this year’s seven grand finalists tackle gruelling modules designed to test their stamina.

They’ll clash in the popular head-to-head and agri-sports challenges at 10.30am and 2pm.

Grand finals for the TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ competitions will be run alongside the prestigious contest.

Almost 100 students from across New Zealand will compete in the two events.

There will also be national finals for the fencing, stock judging, clay target shooting and debating competitions.

The 50th FMG Young Farmer of the Year will be revealed after a punishing quiz round hosted by Te Radar on Saturday night.

This year’s winner will take home a New Holland tractor, a Honda quad bike, cash, scholarships, equipment and clothing.

The overall grand final prize pool is valued at more than $155,000.

Saturday’s quiz and awards evening will be streamed live on the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Facebook page.

An edited version of the 50th grand final will be available on digital streaming service ThreeNow from July 14th.