Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | July 4, 2011

Young Farmer Contest #5 Will Grayling

Photos make the world go around…. here’s a selection of photos of Will in action at the 2011 National Bank Young Farmer Contest in Masterton over the past week – Wednesday’s welcome at the Masterton Town Hall where Will’s likeness to Prince Harry was first mentioned; Thursday’s technical day at the historic Brancepeth homestead and the speech back at the Solway Copthorne; Friday’s practical challenges, head to head (s) and agrisports at the Solway Showgrounds and finally the evening show at the new Wairarapa College auditorium.  No photos from the ball to follow! Camera was firmly packed away by that stage (RSI in the trigger finger and a wine in the other hand…)

Will Grayling with compere Jim Hopkins at the Masterton Town Hall

Working on a hypothetical plan to secure the future of Brancepeth Station

Will making his presentation to the judges for the Market Innovation Challenge - the contestants had to present a supply chain innovation project of their choice to three judges; Graham Turley the Managing Director Commercial and Agri, ANZ Group; Stephen Macauley General Manager of AGMARDT and Shane McManaway CEO of Allflex Australasia.

Will being the mediator in a human resources challenge (very good actors - as in local farmers - two employers against an unfairly dismissed worker).

Will in the human resources challenge in the Brancepeth library

Will being interviewed by a panel of three judges for 45 minutes: from left Leo Vollebregt 1987 Young Farmer of the Year, Mavis Mullins from the Golden Shears and Dr Patrick Aldwell Dean of the Faculty of Commerce at Lincoln University.

After their brains were turned to mush at Brancepeth, they continued to prepare a speech on a topic they had been given that morning (yeah, like they had time to think about it!). The guest speaker that night was Bj – Sir Brian – the great All Black and AB coach and steadfast Wairarapa farmer but fortunately the boys got to go first.

And then off to Solway Showgrounds to tire out the body as well as the brain. Let’s start with some homekill…

Will in the meat processing challenge - they had to identify 25 meat cuts and 10 offal cuts then break down a sheep carcass to show five of those cuts

In the sheep handling challenge Will had to locate and measure eye muscle mass of 10 stud rams

As well as assembling the milking cups, Will had to identify milking plant components, correctly handle stock to check hoof condition and stock judge four dairy cows

In the fencing challenge, Will had to fit a stay and stay block and construct a Taranaki gate

Will had to use a range of workshop skills to make a 10ft long steel gate with hinges in the engineering challenge

In the cropping challenge, Will had to calibrate a seed drill, choose correct weed sprays and as pictured here, measure dry matter yield of oats in the field and moisture contest of the barley grain

And now Will’s wearing orange for the agrisports, which is like an agricultural ironman – a race against the clock event where both speed and quality count and often don’t go together…..

after some fencing came pole planting (that's erosion control pole planting)

those Ravensdown silos mark the finish line - Will was first home

and the winner is

More photos to come tomorrow – some funny ones from the evening show (involving an over-size $10,000 cheque!) and also some supporter shots from the practical day.

For now, I’m still catching up on sleep from yet another fun-filled Contest week!



  1. Please bear in mind these photos have all been uploaded as low res for your surfing comfort…. that’s why they look grainy! Larger versions are available on request 🙂 or you may visit

  2. You’ve got some great photos.

    I wonder if any other contest requires such a combination of physical and mental/intellectual agility?

    • If only the mainstream media would recognise that. Young Farmers has to fight so hard every year to keep the TV coverage when I think the different channels should be fighting over it!

  3. thanks for sharing these wonderful photos Kate. I agree it’s a pity the mainstream media doesn’t recognise this competition – I searched the NZ Herald every day, but could find no mention of it. As an Aucklander, I can tell you that some of us (and not just those from farming backgrounds) do watch and enjoy the tv show, though I have to admit a personal interest this year, as I’m Will’s aunt. Personally I wish the show was longer so we could see more of the farming challenges. Again, thank you for sharing the photos.

    • You are welcome Rosanne, you should be very proud of your nephew – he’s a nice guy and obviously a quality contestant!

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