Young farmer’s versatility wins out

Eventual winner Logan Wallace, of Gore (left), a member of the Clinton Young Farmers Club, and...
Eventual winner Logan Wallace, of Gore (left), a member of the Clinton Young Farmers Club, and Nigel Woodhead, from the Tokomairiro club, go head to head in a fencing challenge at the 2016 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Otago/Southland regional finals in...

If there is one thing competitors in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition must be it is versatile.

The eight finalists in the Otago/Southland regional finals of this year's competition held in Wyndham on Saturday not only had to be competent in rural skills such as tractor work, fencing, shearing and riding a quad bike, they also had to turn their hand to more unusual pursuits such as building a campfire, erecting a tent, archery, and making and cooking their own sausages.

As if that wasn't enough, their intellectual prowess was also tested with a series of interviews, agribusiness challenges, and a farming and general knowledge quiz.

The competitors - Logan Wallace (Clinton club), Nigel Woodhead (Tokomairiro), Hamish Robinson (Wyndham), Lyndon Wallace (Waitane), Allen Gregory (Nightcaps), Hamish Gibson (Teviot Valley), Sam Hodsell (Thornbury) and Ben Gardyne (Waitane) - worked hard but kept their cool in Saturday's balmy temperatures, encouraged by a large crowd of supporters and onlookers.

After a full-on 14 hours competing, Logan Wallace was named winner, taking home prizes worth more than $10,000, including cash, scholarships and products and services.

Mr Wallace (26), a sheep and beef farm manager from Gore, also won the Agri-knowledge Challenge.

He will now compete against seven other regional finalists in the grand final in Timaru in July.

Runner-up was Nigel Woodhead (28), from the Tokomairiro club, with Sam Hodsell (23), of Thornbury, third.

New Zealand's future farmers also competed on Saturday in TeenAg and AgriKids competitions.

The TeenAg event was won by Peter McLeish and Carl Lindsay, of Central Southland College, Winton, while Ella Zwagerman, Renee Zwagerman and Scarlett Hopcroft, from Southland Girls' High School, won the AgriKids competition.

allison.beckham@odt.co.nz

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