A rural banker who breeds Hereford cattle has joined the race to be the next FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Sam Tipping, 25 - right, has clinched a spot in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final after winning a qualifying event in Hamilton.

"I entered the district contest to benchmark myself. To come out on top was a bit of a surprise," he said.

Sam is a Hamilton-based agribusiness partner with BNZ, a position he's held since September last year.

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In his spare time he runs Kamaro Herefords, a thriving beef stud which he established in Waitomo in late 2013.

"I've got about 30 breeding cows. Last year I started an artificial insemination programme to help fast-track the herd's genetic gain," he said.

The Hamilton City Young Farmers member is a former fencing contractor whose work took him to Fiji.

"I spent a month erecting fences on a research station. The humidity was a killer," he laughed.

Sam took out a junior sheep judging title at Hawke's Bay premier agricultural show last month, winning a trip to Perth.

"It's awesome. I'm a cattle breeder who'll be representing New Zealand in sheep judging," he said.

Before then, Sam will compete in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year in Matamata on March 23 next year.

The second-to-last Waikato/Bay of Plenty qualifying event was held in Piarere on Saturday and the last is this Saturday at Pokuru.