Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | July 10, 2010

Day three – Young Farmer Contest

Technically, day three of the Contest doesn’t start until tonight when the contestants face it off with Mark Leishman and the buzzer at the MLT Events Centre in Gorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre.

But it’s a beautiful day (not that I’ve stepped outside yet, I have been sitting in bed with my lap top on my knee going through the couple of thousand photos I took yesterday).

This morning the Young Farmers general population have been attending the National YF AGM. Ten nominations for national vice president! Wow. The contestants all meet at this morning to have a practice run etc at the event centre so they’re not too awestruck when they get there tonight.  Then there’s a dress rehearsal with stand-in contestants (usually management committee members or former winners/grand finalists – of which there are lots around here!).

Speaking of former winners, it’s amazing the run Otago/Southland has had in the past decade.

Richard Slee 1999, Robert Kempthorne 2003, Simon Hopcroft 2004 (one of yesterday’s Agri-sports convenors) and David Holdaway 2005 (Thursday’s Technical Convenor).

So many former grand finalists in the mix – NZ Young Farmers CEO Richard Fitzgerald, Contest Chairman Tim Cookson, street event organiser Richard Copland (second last year), one of the practical convenors Paul Turner, contest management committee members Callum Thomsen (winner 2007), Earl McSweeney, David Skiffington (winner 2008).

It’s awesome.

The Young Farmer Contest is awesome. Passion is what makes the world go round and I’m not ashamed to say I think it’s great.  I sat at a table full of National Bank people last night at the Hyundai Grand Final Dinner and I told them all so!

The dinner was a chance to recognise the effort put in by each contestant and by each member of the local organising committee – from transport and ticketing through to the section convenors. Well done all of you.

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks spoke and was very eloquent about the benefits he believed the Contest had brought to Gore. Jim Hopkins also waxed lyrical about the Hokonui moonshine museum and the Eastern Southland  (?) Art Gallery – I’m going to have to go and have a look!

So for now, back to these photos.

Then off to Tapanui to see my kids at my sister’s house.  Then into the ball frock and away we go again!

Look out for me (oh, and watch the Contest) on TVNZ 6 (Sky’s channel 16) at 7.30pm tonight. Saturday!

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