S54: Waikato Bay of Plenty Regional Finalists announced

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NZ Young Farmers

The finalists for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year 2022 Waikato Bay of Plenty Regional Final have been chosen.

BNZ AgriBusiness Partner and drystock farm manager Stephen Brunskill, dairy farmer Chris Poole, dairy farm manager Connor Steens, contract milker Danielle Hovmand, 50/50 share milker and 2021 Bay of Plenty runner up Share Farmer of the Year Josh Macdonald, dairy, sheep and beef farmer and 2021 Waikato Share Farmer of the Year Reuben Connolly, Reporoa Young Farmer Brayden Schroder and Te Kawa West Young Farmer Daisy Higgs will go head to head.

The eight competitors were chosen from three District Contests including one virtual competition and will battle it out for the title of Waikato Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer of the Year on Saturday 5th of March.

Connolly, who was also named runner up New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year for 2021 says he signed up this year to give contest a go and is looking forward to having 'a bit of fun'.

The father of four grew up on a drystock in Otorohanga, which he now leases.

"In June 2016 we moved to Otorohanga to an 280 cow farm as part of an equity partnership. We also took on the lease of my parent's drystock farm, where we now rear and graze our own young stock, beef stock, small hereford stud and 700 sheep. We are currently leasing both the dairy farm and drystock farm with help from two full time staff and of course the children," he said.

For the Regional Final contest, conveners Danielle Imlig and Luke Hartnell will create challenges that the contestants may come across in their day-to-day movements throughout the rural community.

"We will be encompassing a large range of different agricultural sectors within our Regional Young Farmers Clubs. This will give a more level playing field for all competitors involved," Imlig said.

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 wanted to test our competitors and see 'who's up for it' and we exceeded last year's entry numbers across the country." “All of our volunteers and conveners have created some incredible challenges so far, with Regional Final season expected to take that to another level.”

All FMG Young Farmer of the Year events operate in accordance with the Government's COVID Protection Framework and will require vaccine passes.

Written by
NZ Young Farmers

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