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Dennis Main: Waikato Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Written by
NZ Young Farmers

Growing up on the family farm in Tīrau, 30-year-old Dennis Main always knew farming would be a part of his life.  

From farming, to engineering, back to farming, then building, he’s never quite escaped rural life. He even met his partner at a Young Farmer’s Club meet-up.  

Thankfully, the Piarere Young Farmer wouldn’t have it any other way.  

“I like to try new things, I’m never in one spot for too long,” he says. 

“I ran the family farm for a few years before getting into building, where I’ve been for the last 12 months. I’ve got a few arrows to my bow now - you never know when you might need them.” 

Before his family sold the farm last year, Dennis was managing a bit of everything, including sheep and beef. He’s a builder now, but owning a block of land is still on his wish list.  

“It doesn’t have to be a big farm,” he says. “But buying a block of land and putting some animals on it is the dream. It’s a lifestyle I’ve always wanted - on the farm is where I feel most at home.”  

Surrounded by rolling hills since he was a kid, some of his earliest memories are feeding the calves amongst the lush green of Tīrau farmland. Running around on motorbikes when he and his siblings were a bit older, much of his childhood was spent outdoors. 

“I still miss farming some days,” Dennis admits. “But I know it will be something I’ll always be involved with; I’ll never be out of the farming industry.” 

Now the Grand Finalist for the Waikato Bay of Plenty region, Dennis is drawing on his breadth of skills to outsmart his competitors. It’s time to put his farming background back to work, he says.
 
“A few people in the club have offered to help out in some way or another. I’ll definitely talk to some of the past winners and finalists, to get some tips on how to navigate the Grand Final.” 

Last year’s FMG Young Farmer of the Year was Emma Poole, hailing from the Waikato Bay of Plenty region. Will the region win another season?  

“I’ve got some big shoes to fill,” Dennis replies. 

It’s his last chance to compete for FMG Young Farmer of the Year before he ages out. With the local community and Young Farmers Club rallying behind him, he’s excited to tick the Grand Final off his bucket list. 

“Apart from competing, I’m really looking forward to making more connections in the farming community,” he says.  

“It will be nice to meet some new people who are on similar and different paths to my own.” 

With his partner and family travelling to Hamilton to support him, Dennis says alongside his immediate support, he owes it to his Young Farmers club and his mates for encouraging him to enter it. 

“Young Farmers has always been a good place to meet like-minded people. You don’t have to be farming full time to fit in, it’s full of a good bunch of people who are all wanting to get places in the farming industry one way or another.” 

His advice for any keen young farmers wanting to enter the next season is to “just give it a go”.  

“You never know what might happen or who you may meet along the way,” he laughs. “I’m the best example of that.”  

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Written by
NZ Young Farmers

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