Toko sheep and beef farmer Nick Brown took third place and won the coveted Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge during the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final of FMG Young Farmer of the Year Competition in Wellington last weekend.

Nick competed against eight farmers from Taranaki and Manawatu during the competition, which involved a series of gruelling modules, including a fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz. The winner of the regional final was PGG Wrightson technical field representative Will Taylor, 26.

"I'm completely surprised. I wasn't expecting this.

"I'm absolutely chuffed."


The win has secured the Marton Young Farmers vice-chairman a spot in the prestigious FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill.

Will told the large crowd at Wellington College that he plans to check out his competition before July.

"I think I'll be taking a couple of trips to watch the regional finals in the South Island."
The former Palmerston North cocktail bartender won almost $12,000 worth of prizes, including an XR150 Honda farm bike.

Will grew up on a sheep and beef farm and spent three years driving tractors and combine harvesters in Western Australia.

"A couple of years ago a bought a bare block of land in Feilding, which I've fenced and now run breeding ewes and finish lambs on."

Second place went to Emma Dangen, who's in her final year of a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at Massey University.

The 23-year-old also won the Massey University Agri-Growth Challenge. Kieran McCahon, who recently completed a Bachelor Agricultural Science at Massey University, won the AGMARDT Agri-Business Challenge and the Meridian Energy Agri-Knowledge Challenge.

There was a draw in the Agri-Sports Challenge, with Michael McCombs and Lachlan Fee sharing the title.

Feilding High School took top honours in the TeenAg regional final, claiming the top three placings. For the contest 32 teams clashed in front of a vocal crowd of supporters.

A trio from Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School won the hotly-contested AgriKidsNZ contest.

Sixteen teams tackled fun challenges testing their practical and theoretical skills.