Stadium option for national Young Farmer Contest

Forsyth Barr Stadium may host the Young Farmer Contest, following confirmation the annual event will be held in Dunedin next year.

Yesterday, organisers announced Dunedin would host the contest for the first time since 1986, and were considering a range of venues, including the stadium, Edgar Centre and Larnach Castle.

A Dunedin Venues Management Ltd spokeswoman said organisers were looking at the stadium and Edgar Centre as possible options, but venues were yet to be confirmed.

New Zealand Young Farmers national chairman Paul Olsen said Dunedin was the "obvious choice" following a decision to move the 2012 event from earthquake-affected Christchurch.

"Canterbury has suffered enough recently and, while we would love to bring the event to Christchurch, we felt that 2012 was too soon to impose on the city."

With the South Island usually hosting the contest every alternate year, Christchurch has been rescheduled to 2014 to allow the city time to rebuild.

Mr Olsen said the joint bid from Otago-Southland and Aorangi was strong and, "we are confident they have the facilities and personnel to deliver a high calibre event".

Former grand finalist and Young Farmer board member Elliot Scott said despite the tight timeframes, he was confident "the people of Dunedin and surrounding districts will come along to support us".

District finals would begin in October and regional finals in February, with the National Bank Young Farmer Contest in Dunedin from May 23-26.

The event would coincide with primary and secondary school versions of the contest, and the group's annual conference.

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