Young Farmer to undergo overhaul

A key move will be to attract more women

A key move will be to attract more women

NEW Zealand’s longest-running agricultural contest the FMG Young Farmer of the Year will undergo a major overhaul ahead of next year’s competition.

A key move will be to attract more women to enter the contest and to help showcase the country’s food story.

As part of the significant changes, the TeenAg competition will be rebranded the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year.

“We have just celebrated our 50th anniversary, which is an amazing achievement,” said NZ Young Farmers contest board member Cole Groves.

“However, if we do not make some major changes now, this contest will not be relevant in another 50 years.”

“There will still be a strong practical side to the contest, but our modules and challenges need to utilise technology more,” said contest board chair Rebecca Brown.

“In future, contestants might have to use GPS technology to mark out and erect a fence around riparian planting.”

Contest organisers were keen to tap into innovation and technology being used and developed by sponsors.

Awards for the highest-scoring competitor in each of the five challenges — from agri-business to agri-skills — will be scrapped.

“They’ll be replaced with new awards assessing contestants’ skills and knowledge across innovation, food, people, environment and technology,” said Mr Groves.

“We’re hoping the changes encourage more women to give the contest a go,” Cole said.

“We want to expand contestants’ knowledge beyond just fencing and identifying different types of fertiliser.”

The NZ Young Farmers Contest Board hopes the much-needed strategy will instil some passion in the hard-working volunteers who organise the contest.

“This gives us a clear direction, which I think has been lacking until now. The changes won’t happen overnight at regional level, but we’ve set the ball rolling,” Rebecca said.

The contest will also be used to better tell New Zealand’s paddock to plate food story.

“I think that can often get forgotten. There is a huge amount of public pressure on the primary industries at the moment.

“We’re all food producers and showcasing what we do is vital.”

The two competitions designed to get school students excited about opportunities in the agri-food sector will also change.

The TeenAg competition will be renamed the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year.

“When this was suggested to the Contest Board we thought, why has this not been done before?” Cole said.

“The AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg competitors idolise the FMG Young Farmer of the Year contestants.”

“Having AgriKidsNZ, the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year and FMG Young Farmer of the Year all part of the same event will help lift the prestige of the students’ contests.”

The 2019 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final will be held in Hawke’s Bay in July next year.

NEW Zealand’s longest-running agricultural contest the FMG Young Farmer of the Year will undergo a major overhaul ahead of next year’s competition.

A key move will be to attract more women to enter the contest and to help showcase the country’s food story.

As part of the significant changes, the TeenAg competition will be rebranded the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year.

“We have just celebrated our 50th anniversary, which is an amazing achievement,” said NZ Young Farmers contest board member Cole Groves.

“However, if we do not make some major changes now, this contest will not be relevant in another 50 years.”

“There will still be a strong practical side to the contest, but our modules and challenges need to utilise technology more,” said contest board chair Rebecca Brown.

“In future, contestants might have to use GPS technology to mark out and erect a fence around riparian planting.”

Contest organisers were keen to tap into innovation and technology being used and developed by sponsors.

Awards for the highest-scoring competitor in each of the five challenges — from agri-business to agri-skills — will be scrapped.

“They’ll be replaced with new awards assessing contestants’ skills and knowledge across innovation, food, people, environment and technology,” said Mr Groves.

“We’re hoping the changes encourage more women to give the contest a go,” Cole said.

“We want to expand contestants’ knowledge beyond just fencing and identifying different types of fertiliser.”

The NZ Young Farmers Contest Board hopes the much-needed strategy will instil some passion in the hard-working volunteers who organise the contest.

“This gives us a clear direction, which I think has been lacking until now. The changes won’t happen overnight at regional level, but we’ve set the ball rolling,” Rebecca said.

The contest will also be used to better tell New Zealand’s paddock to plate food story.

“I think that can often get forgotten. There is a huge amount of public pressure on the primary industries at the moment.

“We’re all food producers and showcasing what we do is vital.”

The two competitions designed to get school students excited about opportunities in the agri-food sector will also change.

The TeenAg competition will be renamed the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year.

“When this was suggested to the Contest Board we thought, why has this not been done before?” Cole said.

“The AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg competitors idolise the FMG Young Farmer of the Year contestants.”

“Having AgriKidsNZ, the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year and FMG Young Farmer of the Year all part of the same event will help lift the prestige of the students’ contests.”

The 2019 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final will be held in Hawke’s Bay in July next year.

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