Familiar faces contest final

FMG Young Farmer of the Year finalists (from left) Logan Wallace, Daniel Bradbury, Patrick Crawshaw, Andrew Wiffen, Josh Cozens, Cameron Black and Will Taylor are putting it all on the line in the grand final, which starts tomorrow in Invercargill. Photo:
FMG Young Farmer of the Year finalists (from left) Logan Wallace, Daniel Bradbury, Patrick Crawshaw, Andrew Wiffen, Josh Cozens, Cameron Black and Will Taylor are putting it all on the line in the grand final, which starts tomorrow in Invercargill. Photo: Supplied
Two familiar faces will battle it out at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill, which starts tomorrow.

Otago-Southland winner Logan Wallace, of Waipahi, will be joined by former Riverton man Cameron Black, who is representing the Aorangi region in the competition.

The pair will go head-to-head against six other contestants from around New Zealand.

Mr Wallace will be in the grand final for the second time.

''I have an advantage, in that I know where my weaknesses are and what I should spend my time studying,'' he said.

The 28-year-old runs 2300 ewes on a 290ha farm at Waipahi in Southland, which he leases from his parents.

The Clinton Young Farmers member has mild dyslexia, which can make putting his answers on paper a struggle.

''That's a challenge for a lot of young guys. They could ace the practical modules, but are put off by the complexity of the theory,'' he said.

''I'd still urge them to give the contest a go, though.''

Mr Black said he had always dreamed of competing in the grand final.

''I was 11 years old. I was in awe of the grand finalists,'' he said.

''I remember thinking they were the bee's knees.

''A lot of Kiwi kids grow up wanting to be a Silver Fern or an All Black. I wanted to compete in a Young Farmer of the Year grand final.''

He won the Aorangi regional final in April.

It was his fourth time competing in a regional final.

While these days he works for New Zealand Agri Brokers in Christchurch, the 25-year-old gets to spend up to a fortnight in gumboots each spring, when he returns to the family farm in Southland.

''I take annual leave and head home to help with the lambing beat. It's something I look forward to every year,'' he said.

The contest starts with the technical day tomorrow morning at the Southern Institute of Technology, following with the opening parade and ceremony at Queens Park at 3.15pm.

On Friday, the finalists will go head-to-head in the practical day at Donovan Park, starting at 7am.

On Saturday, the winner will be crowned after the quiz evening, at the awards ceremony.

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