ANZ Young Farmer Contest Tasman regional champion Reuben
Carter, who will defend his title at this year's
competition on February 15. Photo by Courier Country Files.
Young Farmer Contest Tasman region defending champion
Reuben Carter is working in Hamilton, but he insists the move
As he prepares for the 2014 ANZ Young Farmer Contest Tasman
regional final, to be held at the Murchison A&P Show on
Saturday, February 15, Mr Carter is working for AgriSeeds in
Hamilton. But he said his heart remained in Canterbury.
''The red and black's not going to go out of the veins just
yet. Canterbury offers a lot of opportunities for dry stock
and cropping, so it's where I want to look to be farming in
Mr Carter, who finished fourth in last year's grand final
after winning the Tasman regional final, was born and bred on
a 600ha sheep and beef farm at Opononi in Northland. He moved
to Canterbury four years ago to pursue a Bachelor of
Agriculture degree in plant production at Lincoln University.
Winning a Young Farmer Contest grand final has been his dream
since a young age. He first got involved in the contest when
he turned up to watch his local district final in Northland
seven years ago.
''They were short on numbers, so I decided to compete and I
ended qualifying for the regional final on my first
He came second in his first regional final and achieved the
same result in his next four appearances, until he won the
Tasman regional final last year. He will compete in his
seventh regional final at Murchison, his fourth in the Tasman
region after he won the Christchurch district final last
Mr Carter predicted this year's Tasman top four would
comprise himself, fellow Christchurch finalists Sarah
O'Connell and Caleb Strowger and Nelson-Marlborough finalist
Andrew Wiffen. ''Sarah's very good. We competed against each
other three years ago in the regional final, so I know she is
going to be a strong contender.
''My old flatmate Caleb Strowger has been in the Aorangi
regional before and he was in the Tasman final last year and
he helped me prepare for the grand final last year, so he
knows a few of the trade secrets.''
However, North Canterbury finalist James Hoban and West
Coaster Andrew Stewart were also ''dark horses'', Mr Carter
said. Hurunui YFC member James Hoban is competing in the
Tasman regional final for the first time, after winning the
North Canterbury district final in October.
''It is a very competitive field this year, so I'll
definitely need to do the work. It's going to be a real
challenge and I'm looking forward to it,'' Mr Carter said.
''I competed against James two years ago in the North
Canterbury district final. He takes a very academic approach
and having grown up on a dry stock unit he will be very tough
No Hurunui YFC member has won a regional final since Scargill
Valley and Beef and Lamb New Zealand northern South Island
director Andy Fox won a place in a grand final back in the
1990s, but Mr Hoban and club mate Charles Douglas Clifford
were hoping to change that.
''It's nice to have two Hurunui club members in the final and
it is good for the club,'' said Mr Hoban, who considered
himself ''the rank outsider''.
''As long as I give it my best shot and do some hard work,
I'll be happy. I've got two or three years left so I'll treat
this as a learning experience and hopefully give it a better
go next time.''
Eight finalists representing the Christchurch, North
Canterbury, West Coast and Nelson-Marlborough districts will
be competing for a place in the grand final in Christchurch
in July. For more information and the latest results go to:
- David Hill.