Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | May 11, 2010

Want to win $100,000?

Want to win $100,000 worth of prizes? There are seven young farmers around the country who are studying to improve their chances for that awesome prize package (and the rather sexy title that goes with it – wouldn’t you like to be the Young Farmer of the Year?!)

Part of yesterday’s workload here at the land of rivettingkatetaylor was putting together a summary of the seven grand finalists for the National Bank Young Farmer Contest (being held in Gore in July).

And what a lineup. Some of NZ’s finest right there. But which one will step up to become the champion? Which one will earn the right to call himself the Young Farmer of the Year 2010? (and we won’t even try to answer Jamie Mackay’s question to me a few weeks ago on The Farming Show about why there aren’t any women in there).

In good sponsorship fashion, I will mention that six of the seven guys went to Lincoln University, one of the long-time supporters of the show (they probably all have Hondas too and use Ravensdown fertiliser and bank at the National Bank, drive Hyundai Santa Fes and wear Swanndris to work…..)

There’s one guy in particular that I hope does well. He will put his heart and soul into winning that’s for sure, but does he have the right stuff? Angus Brown has been “fighting” with his twin brother Duncan for years to make the top four of the East Coast Regional Finals.  Duncan has perhaps made the ultimate sacrifice and stepped up to the organising plate several times to let his brother have a whack, particularly at this stage of their Young Farmers lives, as they get kicked out in just a couple of years when they suddenly turn into Old Farmers. (See the link to the Young Country magazine’s Family Ties article I did on these two under published work tab at the top of the page.)

Another who will be trying hard will be Northern’s James Donaldson. He’s from the region that has never had a winner. In 43 years, a Northern Young Farmer has never had the Cloak of Knowledge draped around his shoulders (unless it was at the ball afterwards, and even then, it wouldn’t be for long, for some reason it’s quite precious to the winner….)

James was a finalist in 2008, Taranaki/Manawatu’s Chris Will was a finalist last year and Tasman’s Grant McNaughton (for some reason known to his mates as Marmite) was a finalist in 2007. He missed out on a grand final spot last year after being tied with eventual winner Tim O’Sullivan in the Aorangi Regional Final (Tim won on a countback to practical scores). Grant was in no mind to let the same thing happen this year – winning his regional final by about 60 points.

Andrew Scott is representing Aorangi this year (he’s from the same club and district as Tim O’Sullivan – no pressure lol) and the Otago/Southland representative, competing just down the road from his own farm, is Pete Gardyne. The Gardyne’s will be a force to reckon with over the next few years. One of Pete’s younger brothers won the inaugural TeenAg competition while the two youngest siblings were in the winning AgriKids team in that region this year.

AgriKids is awesome. It promotes agricultural skills to those aged Year 7 and 8 (form one and two) and the kids have a ball.  One of my good friends had her boy at the national AgriKids final in Palmerston North last year (in the same team as a cousin of mine too – hurray Heriot). The next step up for that now is TeenAg, aimed, obviously, at teenagers, who hopefully then go on to the adult version, our Young Farmer Contest.

I can’t wait for July. The Young Farmers (and ex Young Farmers) that put this show together are a great bunch and there are hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours that go into putting in together – from district to regional to grand final (and they have a pretty good media liaison officer too, if I do say so myself…)

To get to know the magnificient seven a bit better, tune in to TV6 in June and July to see coverage of each regional final and profiles on each winner at their home and work – East Coast on May 25, followed by Northern on June 1,  Waikato/Bay of Plenty on June 8, Taranaki/Manawatu on June 15, Otago/Southland on June 22, Aorangi on June 29 and Tasman on July 6.

On Grand Final night, Country Calendar at 7pm on TVNZ will be a Contest special, followed by a live screening of the Grand Final on TVNZ 6.

Don’t miss it!



  1. Great write up Kate, so does that mean we put aside a east coast shirt for you?? Thanks

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