News, Events and Culture

Region gains hosting rights for 2017 Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final

Monday April 4 2016

Closer collaboration between Manawatū District and Palmerston North City Councils has notched up another win, with New Zealand's ultimate rural challenge headed our way next year.

Photo shows farmer dosing a sheep with a drench gun.

The grand final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year will be staged in Feilding over three days in July 2017, pitting contestants in battles around agricultural knowledge, people and practical skills, and mental fortitude.

Next year’s contest takes the theme ‘Growing Intelligent Farmers’, and with a prize pool worth more than $300,000, the competition will be fierce.

Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith says the announcement of the winning bid demonstrates yet again the importance of the successful collaborative approach with Manawatū District as New Zealand’s defining agribusiness hub.

“It aligns well with the government’s priorities by enabling young farmers to tie into the opportunities that are being created within our regional growth plan, Accelerate 25.”

The event is also an attractive incentive for rural urban engagement, he says. “This is all about people in Palmerston North getting a first-hand experience of what future farming is about.”

Manawatū District Mayor Margaret Kouvelis says: “Future farming will be the career to aspire to. The farmer of the future will need to be intelligent, a global thinker, better informed, more innovative, incredibly agile, so we need to have our top brains focused on our agricultural wellbeing.

“With nearly all of the contest’s major sponsors located within Manawatū and an  increasing number of global agribusinesses attracted to Feilding, it is appropriate we have won the opportunity to host such a prestigious event, as we see our region as the heart of rural New Zealand.”

Contest co-convenors Steph Sloan and Paul Olsen say Young Farmers Clubs in the Manawatū have gone from strength to strength, and they are excited to showcase the depth and diversity the region has to offer.