Always good to give back: YFC leader

New Zealand Young Farmers Otago and Southland treasurer and Thornbury Young Farmers Club...
New Zealand Young Farmers Otago and Southland treasurer and Thornbury Young Farmers Club chairwoman Emma Wilson, of Invercargill, is set for the club’s annual duck-calling competition. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Shawn McAvinue spends five minutes talking to New Zealand Young Farmers Otago and Southland treasurer and Thornbury Young Farmers Club chairwoman Emma Wilson (24), of Invercargill.

I hear your club has an annual fundraising event coming up?

It’s our duck-calling competition at the Drummond Tavern from 7.30pm on April 21 to raise funds for a local charity. Last year, we donated $2800 to the Lakes District Air Rescue Trust. We get some prizes donated from amazing sponsors and we get a bunch of people along for some calling and a bit of fun.

What charity is the benefactor this year?

The Southland Rural Support Trust — they are always looking after our farmers in tough times — and we are giving a bit to the Cyclone Gabrielle Relief Fund. It’s pretty tragic what’s happened up north so it’s a good chance to help them out too.

Who can enter the competition?

Anyone. They don’t need any experience, they can pay a cash entry on the night to register and we have callers people can borrow.

Who is judging the competition?

Some of the guys from Hunting & Fishing because they are our main sponsor for the night.

Are the judges wanting calls most likely to attract a duck?


So it’s a serious competition?

There are prizes for the worst call and some dress-up prizes — if you’re no good, you’re still in the draw for something.

What’s your line of work?

I’m an accountant.

Why’s an accountant the head of a Young Farmers club?

Young Farmers is for anyone passionate about the industry, not just those with boots on the ground.

Do you have a connection to farming?

I grew up on a sheep and crop farm in Centre Bush.

How long have you been a member of the club and why did you put your hand up to lead the club?

For four years. You get out of Young Farmers what you put in and it’s always good to give back. My grandparents and mum were members of the club.

To what do you attribute your members taking out the top three spots at the Young Farmers Otago and Southland regional finals in Middlemarch last month?

We are a well-rounded club, we have people from all walks of life so if anyone wants to have a go, there is a broad support network and good contacts to hit up.