A 27 year old dairy farmer has been crowned Waikato Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
Te Kawa West Young Farmer Chris Poole took out the title on Saturday night, in front of his wife and five week old son in Te Awamutu.
A dairy farmer and calf rearer on his family farm in Pirongia, Poole also works with Connecterra, a new Artificial Intelligence platform in the NZ market.
Agricultural consultant and Reporoa Young Farmer Braydon Schroder, 25, was named runner up.
Meanwhile BNZ AgriBusiness Parter and drystock manager Stephen Brunskill, 26, from Hamilton City Young Farmers came in third.
Reflecting on the win, Poole said he's excited for the next step and Grand Final preparation.
"That was my third go at a regional final so I was pretty keen to win it which was good to finally do it," he said.
"I got pretty lucky in the quiz I think, went a bit bold on some questions and luckily they came my way."
Poole's wife Emma Dangen was an FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Finalist in 2019 and he's hoping to pick her brains.
"Sheep is definitely a weakness for me being a dairy farmer," he laughed.
"I'll be doing a bit of study with Emma, she'll have tips for me I'm sure having done it herself."
Named as the fourth Grand Final qualifier, Poole will be joining Otago Southland's Alex Field, Tasman's Jonny Brown and Aorangi's Tom Adkins in Whangarei in July.
"I did watch the head to heads and they looked like there was plenty of skill there so it will pretty tough competition," he said.
The contest is based on four pillars – agri-skills, agri-business, agri-sports and agri-knowledge.
New Zealand Young Farmers Chief Executive Lynda Coppersmith said the stakes for 2022 were incredibly high being the third contest season impacted by the global pandemic.
"Entries for FMG Young Farmer of the Year were up 30% this year despite the uncertainty of COVID which is credit to all our amazing volunteers, members, sponsors and staff who put this contest together," she said.
"My gratitude for everyone's efforts extends beyond words and I am really proud to see how everyone has worked together to deliver another season, to pivot and adapt to new challenges including the red light framework."
"The calibre of competitors at each Regional Final is the highest I have seen it and is an extraordinary showcase of the skills and knowledge needed to be involved in the primary industries in this day and age."
"Our competitors represent the full diversity of the primary industries and the array of opportunities available and goes to show that New Zealand Young Farmers' members really are the best and brightest."
The FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest Series would not be possible without support from its family of sponsors FMG, Ravensdown, Worksafe, MPI, Enivronmental Protection Authority, Honda, STIHL, Massey University, Lincoln University, New Holland and PTS Logistics.
1ST - Chris Poole, Te Kawa West Young Farmers
2ND - Braydon Schroder, Reporoa Young Farmers
3RD - Stephen Brunskill, Hamilton City Young Farmers
Top points agri-skills: Danielle Hovmand, Ngarua Young Farmers
Top points agri-business: Braydon Schroder, Reporoa Young Farmers
Top points agri-sports: Connor Steens, South Waikato Young Farmers
Top points agri-knowledge: Chris Poole, Te Kawa West Young Farmers
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