Spunky spud farmer wins bach­e­lor title

Matamata Chronicle - - What’s On - EL­TON RIKIHANA SMALLMAN

The Aussies may have charmed their way into the hearts of ru­ral New Zealand, but it was a Manawatu spud farmer who took the title for 2016 Fiel­d­ays Ru­ral Bach­e­lor of the Year.

An­gus beef farmer Rob Ewing from Vic­to­ria, Aus­tralia, won the Peo­ple’s Choice award, but Paul Olsen, from Opiki, 17 kilo­me­tres south of Palmer­ston North, who takes home the cov­eted Golden Gum­boot award af­ter cut­ting his fin­ger while cook­ing and tak­ing a rib­bing about his cho­sen crop.

‘‘The kitchen is not my strong point, I guess,’’ Olsen said. ‘‘We were just mak­ing a salad. I was just chop­ping up the car­rots. Yeah, it added a bit of tex­ture or pro­tein in there, I guess.’’

Olsen runs a dairy farm and dry stock ro­tat­ing year round with his potato crop. As win­ner, he takes home a Suziki King four­wheel-drive quad bike, $5000 in vouch­ers from Swan­ndi, Stihl and Skellerup and the Golden Gum­boot tro­phy. Not to men­tion brag­ging rights.

The bach­e­lors were tested on a range of skills in­clud­ing speed fenc­ing, speed dat­ing, log split­ting, dig­ger driv­ing and dog train­ing.

The 35-year-old Olsen puts his win down to ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ewing stood out in the Fiel­d­ays com­pe­ti­tion and con­tin­ued to win hearts when he do­nated his prize – $2000 in vouch­ers from Swan­ndri, Stihl and Skellerup – to the Cam­bridge Riding for the Dis­abled As­so­ci­a­tion.

Ru­ral Bach­e­lor of the Year! Fiel­d­ays Mys­tery Creek Win­ner Paul Olsen from Manawatu.

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