Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | July 10, 2010

and the winner is……

The National Bank Young Farmer Contest Grand Final 2010

And the winner is… Grant McNaughton

Oamaru agricultural consultant Grant McNaughton is the new National Bank Young Farmer of the Year.

He beat the six other Grand Finalists to take the prestigious title after three days of gruelling competition in the Eastern Southland town of Gore – one technical, one practical and tonight’s televised evening session.

“I am stoked. I have been dreaming of this moment since I was seven or eight so I’ve finally knocked it off.”

He said winning the Contest was huge for his own personal development – the contestants had put all their “will, skill, attitude, character and confidence” on the line. 

About 1300 people attended the sold-out dinner event at the MLT Events Centre in Gore, which was broadcast live on TVNZ 6 (delayed coverage on TV One).

Grant McNaughton, 26, from Dunsandel Young Farmers south of Christchurch, was representing the Tasman Region of New Zealand Young Farmers. He works as a private agricultural consultant, farms a 4500 stock unit property in partnership with his parents near Oamaru and also has dairy investments.  He has a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) from Lincoln University. He competed in the 2007 Grand Final and narrowly missed out on a spot last year to eventual Champion Tim O’Sullivan. 

But this year was his turn.

The hometown favourite, Gore sheep and beef farmer Pete Gardyne, put up a top effort coming second and first-equal in two of the sections but it wasn’t enough to keep an early lead.

Grant consistently added to his total through the agricultural and general knowledge question rounds and didn’t trouble the scorer in the final quick buzzer round.

In the end, there was 11 points in it – Grant’s 287 to Pete’s 276, with South Canterbury sheep and beef farmer Andrew Scott coming third with 250.

A smiling Grant, standing with his partner Charlotte,  was presented with $102,590 worth of prizes – including a new $55,990 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi A5 seven-seater, a Honda TRX420FPM power steer four-wheel drive manual ATV valued at $ 14,600, $10,000 cash from The National Bank, $7000 products from both Ravensdown Fertiliser and Echo, a Lincoln University scholarship for study towards a Specialist Masters of Professional Studies or entry to the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme worth $5000, a $2000 AGMARDT Scholarship towards a career development programme and $1000 worth of Swanndri Clothing.

Grant also won the two theory sides of the Contest.  The Lincoln University Agri-growth Challenge won him a $9500 International Exchange Scholarship for a 3-4 week study tour to a partner university (Cornell (USA), University of Copenhagen (Denmark) or the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences).  The AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge won Grant a $15,000 scholarship towards a career development programme.

Andrew Scott took out the Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenge winning $14,000 worth of Ravensdown’s products and services and also the Hyundai Agri-sports Challenge, which gives him a year’s complimentary use of a Hyundai vehicle.

Grant was presented the trophy and the Cloak of Knowledge by 2009 winner Tim O’Sullivan.

The National Bank managing director of rural banking Charlie Graham told the audience after the televised section of the show that he was proud to be associated with Young Farmers. He congratulated Gore for stepping up to the plate for such a large Grand Final.

“To the local community of Eastern Southland – to have a crowd of 1300 in this venue is absolutely fantastic. The way everyone has gone out and supported this event is amazing.”

 New Zealand Young Farmer president Richard Fowler said he was blown away by the calibre of the contestants.

“Their commitment, skill, dedication, and sacrifices to their own businesses and personal lives to become The National Bank Young Farmer of the Year.”

He said he was blown away by the staff and volunteers who put the Contest together from district through to regional and Grand Final level, by the sponsors “sharing in our passion” and by the community support shown by Gore.

Other events held as part of the Practical Day at the Gore A&P Showgrounds on Friday were the AGMARDT Agribusiness Breakfast and the ever-growing AgriKids and the new TeenAg competitions. 

The AgriKids team event was won by the Tokanui Dirty Gumboots – Oliver Keast, 12, Kendall Buckingham, 11, and her cousin Grace Buckingham, 13.  The individual competition was won by 13-year-old Jacob Pearce of Pleasant Point with Dean Coplestone, 12, of Ngaere in Taranaki second and Brendon Masters, 12, of Te Kuiti third.

TeenAg was won by Invercargill brothers Tim and Henry Buckingham.  Michael Gardyne and Allan Gregory were second and Chris Henderson and Richard Gardyne were third, all from Gore.

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