Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | July 11, 2009

Still young farmering

Hello again from Palmerston North.

The reputation that goes before PN doesn’t appear to be very fair this week – we had a bit of rain at the start of the Contest but yesterday and today have been divine.

By Contest I mean the National Bank Young Farmer Contest. Seven guys from around the country who have already competed in a district and regional final are competing for a first prize package of more than $90,000. Must say that would help the farm overdraft wouldn’t it!

I think one of the early favourites, Tim O’Sullivan from near Timaru, is looking stronger and stronger, while my local man, Mark Guscott from Wairarapa, hasn’t shown the strengths we thought he would. Still, my vocal chords won’t get warmed up to sing until we see how switched on they are for the evening question session still to come.

And you’ll know the winner next time we talk too – TVOne at 10.15pm tonight – just don’t get me started on why the state broadcaster shows so little respect for one of the country’s most prestigious rural competitions. That’s a blog and a hundred on its own.

We had the Honda Grand Final dinner last night – where the contestants and the practical organisers go to sleep at the tables because they’re absolutely shattered – and people like me chat up the sponsors (helps that hubby works for one of them) and drink too much red wine. It’s all good!

The dinner recognises all the sponsors and the local Grand Final organising committee members. it also announces the section winners from the parts of the Contest that have already been held – not the points or placings – so you really still have no idea where everyone sits on the likely prize list.

Tim O’Sullivan from Aorangi won the Practical and the Agrisports sections (I know who came second but I’m not allowed to tell you!!!) and also tied top with Chris Will from Manawatu in the speeches. The youngest contestant, 21 year old Aidan Gent from Northern won the interview and Otago/Southland’s Richard Copland won the Technical (he is a rural finance manager) and also the awesome $28,000 AGMARDT scholarship for the best Market Innovation Challenge project (they had to work out a marketing strategy for an agricultural product through an integrated supply chain).

Good news from yesterday is that the team from my home town of Heriot in West Otago won the AgriKids teams event. The sad news is that they had their flights booked for this afternoon and miss the opportunity to be presented their prizes at the theatre in front of 1000 people tonight. The even sadder news is that one of the mums (married to my cousin Mike – it’s a small world) had a bad asthma attack this morning and is in hospital. Hopefully they will let her out to fly south at 4pm… but the others have my car keys and are roaming the sights of Palmerston North as we speak.

So, that’s it from me for now – there’s 1000+ practical section photos on my computer that need sorting.

Keep smiling.

Oh, how can i forget, just in case he’s reading my blog (I gave him the address!!!) rivettingkatetaylor was interviewed by Jamie Mackay on his radio farming show yesterday. Very cool. I was his token woman for the hour – blokes and gumboots dominated the day.

Should I like being  a token woman?  🙂


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