22-year-old farmer Jacinta Kete doesn’t let gender stereotypes define her.
Working as an assistant manager on a dairy farm in Taranaki, the full-time working mum juggles her role with a four-year-old in tow, while at the same time preparing to compete for the title of FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
Held up as one of the biggest primary sector awards in the country, the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest boasts a strong track record of showcasing the very best talent and skills New Zealand’s food and fibre sector has to offer. Contestants are put through their paces, first by having to qualify at their District Contest, then their Regional Final, before battling it out at the Grand Final.
Each contestant competed against 14 people from their district. Jacinta is one of eight contestants headed for the Taranaki Manawatu FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Final.
Born and bred into sheep and beef, Jacinta is a first-time contestant giving it her all. From a young age, she knew farming was where she belonged, and the community around her has shown immense support.
“Everyone’s always stoked to hear about women in the agricultural industry, especially women who are doing well,” she says.
“The community in South Taranaki has been amazing, especially my local one in Auroa. Everyone is there for everyone.”
New Zealand Young Farmers Board Chair Jessie Waite says it’s great that more and more women are getting involved in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest.
“Season 55 is shaping up to be an exciting one. With so many new contestants, I can’t wait to see what this year’s qualifiers bring to the table.”
“As a female it’s inspiring to see contestants like Jacinta putting her hand up, giving it a go and getting through to the regional final.”
Now in its 55th year, NZ Young Farmers will be running seven FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Finals between February and April 2023. Each one will decide who will be competing at the Grand Final in Timaru in July 2023.
No competition is the same, and contestants start the day not knowing which of their skills will be put to the test. The winner of the contest will receive around $70,000 worth of prizes.
The FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest Series would not be possible without support from its family of sponsors FMG, Ravensdown, Worksafe, MPI, Environmental Protection Authority, Honda, STIHL, Massey University, Lincoln University, New Holland, PTS Logistics and Bushbuck.
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