Two Otago/Southland farmers to join board overseeing FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Posted by on 16 May 2019 | Comments


Two Otago/Southland farmers are set to join the board overseeing the FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest.

James Goodwin, 31, and Nigel Woodhead, 31, will take up positions on the NZ Young Farmers Contest Board in July.

The pair both have a long history with the national agricultural contest. Nigel is a former grand final winner.

“Nigel and James have great leadership qualities and they will both be amazing assets to the NZYF Contest Board,” said chair Rebecca Brown.

James runs a 480 hectare farm in Gore, which he leases off his parents. It has 4000 ewes and 1000 hoggets.

The Waitane Young Farmers member convened last year’s 50th FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill.

“That was a real insight into the important planning which goes on behind the scenes to help drive the contest forward,” said James.

“I grew a lot as a leader. I’m keen to ensure the contest continues to develop, thrive and showcase modern farming.”

Nigel leases his parents’ 400 hectare sheep and beef farm in Milton and has been farming since 2015.

He competed for the first time in 2011 and took out the 2017 grand final. Nigel convened this year’s Otago/Southland regional final.

“The FMG Young Farmer of the Year has shaped me into the person I am today,” said Nigel.

“I’m now at the stage in my life where I want to give back.”

Nigel has almost completed the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme and James was a 2018 NZYF Excellence Award winner.

The pair will replace Cole Groves and Dean Rabbidge who first joined the committee in 2014.

“It’s going to be different without them around. They have invested so much into the contest and will leave big shoes to fill,” said Rebecca.

Cole and Dean were pivotal in overhauling the iconic contest to ensure it showcases the primary industries in an engaging way.

They will step down after this year’s grand final in Hawke’s Bay on 4th-6th July.

The NZYF Contest Board is made up of eight people, including four appointed members.

The other two appointed members, Rebecca Brown and Alastair Neville, are from the North Island.