Making horseshoe among Young Farmers tasks

ANZ Young Farmer Contest Aorangi regional finalist Sonja Dobbie says it would be ''really cool'' to win the national final. Photo supplied.
ANZ Young Farmer Contest Aorangi regional finalist Sonja Dobbie says it would be ''really cool'' to win the national final. Photo supplied.
When Sonja Dobbie entered the North Otago district final of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest, she did not expect to do well.

The competition was held at Totara Estate, near Oamaru, last November and members of her Five Forks club encouraged each other to enter to ensure good representation.

But Miss Dobbie (23), a first-time entrant, finished third behind Marshall Smith (Upper Waitaki Young Farmers) and Steven Smit (Glenavy-Waimate), ensuring her a place in this month's Aorangi regional final.

She is looking forward to the event, which will be held in Fairlie on Easter Monday.

The practical day will be held in conjunction with the Mackenzie Highland Show at the A and P showgrounds, with the evening show at the Mackenzie Community Centre.

The three North Otago finalists will be joined by Stafford Adams and Cole Harris from the Milford-Clandeboye club, James Davidson (Hinds), Sam Bryan (Foothills) and Nigel Woodhead (Pendarves).

Ms Dobbie grew up on a farm in South Otago and is now working as a large animal technician at the Veterinary Centre, based in Oamaru, a job she enjoys.

She joined Young Farmers in mid-2012 and is secretary of the Five Forks Club, which meets monthly.

The club, which is running a membership drive, enjoys a mix of social outings and fundraisers. It was a good opportunity to meet people with similar interests, she said.

Entering the contest was good experience and an opportunity to get to know young farmers from other clubs and also to get her club's name better known, Ms Dobbie said.

The district final was a fun day with various modules that had to be completed, ranging from making a horseshoe - ''no-one had ever done that'' - sawing a block of Oamaru stone to drenching sheep, identifying fertiliser and undergoing an interview.

She was expecting plenty of support from fellow club members and family and friends at the regional final.

The winner of the regional final will join the six other grand finalists from around New Zealand in the grand final in Christchurch in July.

Miss Dobbie admitted it would be ''really cool'' to win the national final. No woman has ever won;

Louise Collingwood came closest in 2003, finishing second to Otago-Southland's Robert Kempthorne.