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Competition heats up for the New Zealand Young Farmers Tournament National Final

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NZ Young Farmers

The competition is heating up for the New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) Tournament National Final, which will take place in Hamilton on Thursday 11 July. Coinciding with the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final, this event will attract 47 NZYF members, all striving for top honours in the Goldpine Fencing, Hunting & Fishing Clay Target, NZ Farmers Livestock Stock Judging, and Tavendale & Partners Debating competitions.

Pictured above: Natalie Ahlborn, 2023 Goldpine Fencing Winner competing at the 2023 NZYF National Tournament Final in Timaru

The action kicks off at 9:00 am at the Waikato Clay Target Club, where 14 sharpshooters will compete for the Hunting & Fishing Clay Target title. Meanwhile, at Claudelands, 19 members will demonstrate their skills in the NZ Farmers Livestock Stock Judging from 11:00 am, evaluating a variety of animals, including beef and dairy cattle as well as meat and wool sheep breeds.

From 12:00 pm, seven fencing teams will pair up and hammer away for the Goldpine Fencing title, also at Claudelands. 

Each competitor hails from one of the regions: Northern, Waikato Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Taranaki Manawatu, Tasman, Aorangi, and Otago Southland, having earned their spots through rigorous regional competitions.

Throughout the day, attendees can enjoy various amenities and entertainment at the Claudelands Oval. Starting at 10:00 am, NZYF members can get free haircuts courtesy of Daz’s Barber Shop until 2:00 pm. A coffee cart will be available from 10:00 am to keep everyone energised and local musician Chris Paki will perform live from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. A free BBQ lunch will be served between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm, where attendees can mingle with the seven FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Finalists.

The event will culminate with the Tavendale & Partners Debate, featuring teams from Fitzherbert Young Farmers and Lincoln Young Farmers, who will tackle the moot that farm ownership is out of reach for many within New Zealand.

The NZYF Tournament Series, held for the wider membership base, with its rich 80-year history, is a source of pride for Board Chair Chloe Jones. “The Waikato provides the perfect setting for the NZYF Tournament National Final, given its diverse food and fibre sector. I’m really excited to watch our members compete,” she said.

Jones highlighted the importance of the Tournament Series in developing the knowledge and skills of the next generation of young farmers. Slightly biased owning a fencing business, the Goldpine Fencing competition is one of her favourite events to watch. 

“Fencing requires teamwork and is a crucial on-farm, industry skill that requires good workmanship, which is no easy feat. 

“Assessing stock, knowing what to look for in an animal and the good cuts for the BBQ, and being a good judge, whether in the sale yards, cattle yards, or the woolshed, is vital for farmers and rural professionals alike,” she noted. “The clay bird shoot is a different event of its own.”

She also expressed enthusiasm for the debate, saying, “Our teams will be debating an extremely relevant topic this year, I’m looking forward to hearing what the teams come up with. It’s always a lively discussion and a challenge no matter the side of the moot you are on.”

Additionally, the NZYF Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday morning, featuring a keynote address by Simon Graafhuis, Chief Executive of Chiefs Rugby.

For more event information, please click here.

Written by
NZ Young Farmers

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