Waipahi young farmer keeps national title in South

Logan Wallace, supported by partner Penny Hicks, soaks up the win after being crowned the 2018...
Logan Wallace, supported by partner Penny Hicks, soaks up the win after being crowned the 2018 FMG Young Farmer of the Year at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill on Saturday night. Photo: Nicole Sharp
Taking the bull by the horns, Logan Wallace did not let his second chance slip through his fingers and  won the FMG Young Farmer of the Year in Invercargill on Saturday night.

After competing in the grand final in 2016, Mr Wallace (28) had a rough idea of the battle in front of him on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The technical day on Thursday tested mental strength, while the practical day on Friday tested both physical and mental ability before the quiz on Saturday evening.

Mr Wallace won the Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge, the Agri-Sports Challenge, Massey University Agri-Growth Challenge and the overall title.

It was a night it all fell into place for the Waipahi farmer.

"It’s been a dream of mine for years," he said, accepting the trophy and cloak of knowledge.

A home crowd of 1000 people in ILT Stadium Southland erupted as the Otago-Southland representative from the Clinton club was named the winner.

Mr Wallace had been watching the competition since he was young.  A family friend, James Watt, had won in 1980, providing more inspiration, he said.

The trophy stayed in the South for another year, after Nigel Woodhead, of Milton, won in 2017.

"We are immensely proud of Logan. He’s put his all into the contest," his father, Ross Wallace, said.

"It’s something he’s wanted to do since he was a boy."

Mr Wallace runs 2300 ewes on a 290ha farm, which he leases from his parents.

The intensive sheep breeding and finishing property also carries 700 hoggets and 400 trading sheep.

Mr Wallace  thanked his parents Ross and Alexa for  their support leading up to the competition.

"For the last two months there has not been a lot of farm work happening," he said.

He thanked FMG and the family of sponsors, saying the event had been amazing.

"All the contestants have had great fun," he said.

He acknowledged organiser James Goodwin and his team for the work they had done, as it had been one hard competition.

"By the end of yesterday we were absolutely stuffed."

The cheers continued long in to the night, as the Clinton Young Farmers Club had travelled to Invercargill to support their local man.

Mr Wallace also thanked all of the Otago-Southland Young Farmer Members who had supported him.

Cameron Black, of the Aorangi Region was second, and Josh Cozens of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty region was third.

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