New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) is proud to launch the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest into its 55th season.
The Contest kicks off on the 15th of October 2022 with the first of 11 District Contests to be held throughout Aotearoa. NZYF members are invited to register for the agricultural challenge where they’ll flaunt their practical and theoretical know-how in the bid to qualify through to the next round, the Regional Finals.
The District Contests are one-day events organised by NZYF Clubs. Whether it be through organising, competing, or coming along as support, all members are encouraged to get behind their local District Contest to be a part of NZYFs largest event.
The top contestants from each District Contest will progress through to the Regional Finals, where they will once again demonstrate the broad and varied skillset of a modern farmer. Seven Regional Finals will be held between February and April 2023.
From here, the highest scoring contestant wins the honour of representing their region at the coveted FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final set to happen in Timaru in July 2023.
The annual contest has been going for now 55 Seasons, with beef farmer Tim Dangen becoming the latest FMG Young Farmer of the Year to join the long line of champions.
“We’re fantastic farmers, we know it, we just need to continue to tell the positive stories from our industry.”
Dangen is a member of the Auckland City Young Farmers Club and came out on top at the Season 54 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Whangārei last July, earning him hometown hero status in the Northern Region.
“It was a great day, we had a great time and worked through a bunch of different modules, had our farmlet that we kept going back to, and then we closed it out with AgriSports at the end which was a highlight for me”.
Dangen is keen to inspire young people to “get amongst it” and is complimentary of the Contest’s platform within New Zealand’s primary sector.
“It’s such good advocacy for the industry... I love this competition to bits”.
“We need to be proud of what we do, we’re world-leading farmers, there are challenges out there but solutions are available to all these challenges, we just need to make sure we continue to attract the right people towards the sector and we’ll carry on being world leaders like we are”.
On his experience in the lead-up to the Grand Final, Dangen said that the contest is constantly front of mind.
“It changes the lens on how you farm”.
New Contest structure trial
The FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest is trialling a new structure this year in the Northern and Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regions. These will be two-day events, with day one resembling the traditional District Contest and day two aligning more closely with a Regional Final.
The end goal remains the same – to find the regions’ best to represent them as Grand Finalists, says NZYF Chief Executive, Lynda Coppersmith.
“We know that FMG Young Farmer of the Year is a long season normally and it puts a lot of pressure on our member volunteers to deliver a lot of events”.
“We’re trialling this to look at ways that we can still find New Zealand’s best Young Farmer, but in a way that is potentially more streamlined”.
The FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest is proudly supported by FMG, Ravensdown, WorkSafe, Environmental Protection Authority, Ministry for Primary Industries, Honda, Lincoln University, Massey University, PTS Logistics, New Holland, and Stihl.
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