Northland best farmer title is up for grabs

By Annette Lambly

Eight Northlanders will be digging deep tomorrow in an action-packed competition to win the regional title of the 2013 Young Farmer (of the year) Contest.

They are Ian Douglas, Benson Horsford, Charlotte Barr and Jamie Lang, all from the Whangarei YFC, David Kidd, from the Helensville club, Rachel Rogers from Auckland City and Dan Smith from Kaipara.

This year's regional competition, the first of seven nationally, will be held at Barge Park Showgrounds in Whangarei.

The competition will see a mix of familiar faces back along with a few first-time competitors.

No doubt inspired by last year's winner, Katherine Tucker, three women are among the contenders vying for the title.

Oakleigh dairy farm manager Charlie Barr is no stranger to Regional Finals; this year will be her fourth time around and she is hoping to make it to the first four placegetters.

For Benson Horsford, it's his second time in the competition and he is looking forward to the challenge.

The 29-year-old is employed as a second-in-command herd manager in Kawakawa.

Dairy farmer Ian Douglas is returning once again after placing second in last year's Northern regional final.

His long-term goal is to sharemilk 2500 cows in partnership with his brothers.

New to the scene, Titoki dairy farmer Jamie Lang has his work cut out for him. Jamie will have to battle it out against the more experienced competitors and among them is his boss, Ian Douglas.

Other first-time contestants are Anna Simpson, a dairy herd manager and beef youngstock manager. Anna holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture & Agri-Business.

Dan Smith, at 24, is working on his motorbike mechanic apprenticeship and hopes to one day have his own workshop.

David Kidd is a manager on a sheep and beef farm on the Kaipara Harbour.

Blushing bride-to-be Rachel Rogers will be walking down the aisle to her partner Rob only one week after the regional final. The 29-year-old former Aucklander works as a brand manager in Northland for Bayer NZ.

Competitions are open to the public free.

Of particular interest to spectators will be the agrisports challenges - for the young farmers around 1pm, and the AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg around 11.50am - they are fast and furious contests.

The evening show - a quiz round - is also open to the public. Tickets cost $30 and can be purchased at the ANZ Bank or eventfinder.

- Northern Advocate

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