Top rural minds tried
New Zealand’s ultimate rural challenge, the ANZ Young Farmer Contest, takes place at seven regional locations around the country this year – starting in February. Now into its 47th year, the iconic contest displays the finest of New Zealand young farmers in a range of action-packed challenges.
In the lead-up to the seven regional finals in 2015, more than 250 Young Farmer hopefuls battled it out across 22 district finals for a spot in their region’s final. Between February and April, 56 contestants will be in regional finals around the country, narrowing the field down to a single representative from each to go to the grand final in Taupo from July 2-4.
‘‘The ANZ Young Farmer contest is unique in the world for its national reach and breadth of competition,’’ said Terry Copeland, chief executive of New Zealand Young Farmers – organisers of the contest.
‘‘It’s a chance for the wider New Zealand community to see firsthand the specialist knowledge and skills that our future rural leaders possess. It is a showcase for the cream of New Zealand’s up and coming agri-sector talent.’’
Regional finalists show their skills across a range of tasks in the Practical Day challenges and Evening Show rounds as they vie for a spot in the grand final and a slice of the total $271,000 contest prize pool.
The Practical Day, which is open to the public, is fast-paced and physical with sporting and agricultural skills demonstrated alongside business know-how. The Evening Show, in front of a live audience, includes quiz rounds on specialist topics and general knowledge.
The ANZ Young Farmer Contest has been supported by many long-standing sponsor partners.
Graham Turley, ANZ’s managing director, commercial and agri said: ‘‘At ANZ we believe in supporting the next generation of New Zealand’s farmers. The ANZ Young Farmer Contest provides them with opportunities to learn from each other and develop their experience, and shows our commitment to helping the future of New Zealand’s agri sector.
‘‘Like all the Young Farmer contestants, we at ANZ have to demonstrate determination and grit to gain competitive advantage in our business. We’re involved in a range of initiatives that help those living and working in rural communities. At its heart the contest has always been about community – both locally and nationally – bringing Kiwis together to celebrate our young farming talent and supporting the rural sector.’’
The ANZ Young Farmer Contest regional finals 2015 across the North Island will be held at the following regional locations: East Coast – Greytown – March 21; Taranaki/Manawatu – Palmerston North – March 2; Waikato/Bay of Plenty – Paeroa – April 11; Northern – Dargaville – April 18.
More information can be found at the website, youngfarmer contest.co.nz.
Cole Groves knows what it takes to compete in New Zealand’s ultimate rural challenge – the ANZ Young Farmer Contest. A previous grand finalist, Cole is now chairman of New Zealand Young Farmers the organisation staging the annual contest throughout the country.