The finalists for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year 2022 Otago Southland Regional Final have been chosen for the contest's 54th season.
Featuring shepherds/sheep and beef farmers, a fencing contractor and rural and agribusiness bankers, only one person will be named 2022 Otago Southland FMG Young Farmer of the Year in February.
Ben Harmer, Isaac Johnston, Matt Sullivan, Andrew Cowie, Alex Field, George Blyth, Kurt Knarston and James Fox are the top eight competitors in the Otago Southland region, whittled down from 37 competitors over two district contests.
They will go head-to-head at the Otago Southland Regional Final on the 12th of February in Waimumu.
Otago Southland Regional Final Convener Zac Thomas says after competing in four District Contests and one Regional Final, he thinks he can provide a challenging event.
"We plan to find the best FMG Young Farmer of the Year from Otago-Southland by testing their skill, their knowledge, their fortitude, and their character," he said.
"I enjoy the challenge and adrenaline of competing, as well as the learning opportunities it provides. As a convener, I want to ensure that the competition remains at a high standard, and I aim to provide excellent competitor experiences."
New Zealand Young Farmers CEO Lynda Coppersmith said every year, the competition improves despite the tests that COVID-19 have provided for the third season in a row.
“For season 54 we really want to test our competitors and see 'who's up for it'. We've already exceeded last year's entry numbers across the country, despite the fact that entries for a number of district contests are still open."
“All of our volunteers and conveners right across the country have created some incredible challenges so far, with Regional Final season expected to take that to another level.”
Hoping the country would have shifted to the COVID-19 Protection Framework by Regional Final season in January, Coppersmith said all events would strictly follow the Government guidelines at the time.
Otago District Contest:
1st Ben Harmer, Strath Taieri Young Farmers
2nd Isaac Johnston, West Otago Young Farmers
3rd Matt Sullivan, Maniototo Young Farmers
4th Andrew Cowie, Nightcaps Young Farmers
Southland District Contest
1st Alex Field, Nightcaps Young Farmers
2nd George Blyth, Clinton Young Farmers
3rd James Fox, Thornbury Young Farmers
4th Kurt Knarston Nightcaps Young Farmers
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