Dannevirke sheep and beef farmer Patrick Crawshaw is going for gold at the nation's most prestigious farming competition.
After winning the East Coast regional final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year, Mr Crawshaw could not believe it.
The 24-year-old was humbled by the win, especially knowing the calibre of fellow competitors.
"All the hard work had definitely paid off. Did not quite believe it at first. Knowing the competition I was going up against I thought it was going to be quite a tight race. And the few times we did compete alongside each other in the head to heads and quiz; I couldn't have picked a definite winner.
"It is a very good feeling to be rewarded for the hard work after-hours. It takes a lot of preparation to do well in the event and am pleased it carried me through. It's still sinking in. I really can't believe it."
In his second regional final, the Foley Enterprises farm employee used that experience to his advantage, taking home all technical challenges including the AGMARDT Agri-Business exam, the Massey University Agri-Growth interview and the Meridian Energy Agri-Knowledge quiz.
The hardest event was the Ravensdown module in the practical day.
He also performed well in the practical component of the final and now goes on to represent the East Coast at the 50th Anniversary FMG Young Farmer of the Year grand final in July.
For winning the regional title Mr Crawshaw takes home $12,500 in prizes including a Honda XR150 motorbike.
The 50th grand final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year is July 5-7 in Invercargill with seven grand finalists from around New Zealand.
"I'm definitely looking forward to the grand final. A lot of hard work needs to happen in the meantime and I will be watching the upcoming regional finals to take in more learnings.
"Given that it is 50 years of competition it is pretty special and highlights the prestige of the event, which humbles me."
He added his farming upbringing had been a family affair, and his success was down to a team effort — many years in the making.
"I grew up on the family's Kenhardt Angus Stud under my father Grant Crawshaw. Dad was the one that installed the passion of agriculture in myself and my two sisters, Annette and Nancy.
"We would follow with interest seeing good genetics come through the angus herd and perform in a challenging production system. Sue Crawshaw [mum] is a teacher and made sure our homework was done first, which I am happy to attribute my academics to.
"I'm also grateful to my wife, Isabelle, who has been supportive and a very good practice quiz master too. I have been fortunate to work with progressive people in my career which I now call mentors that further fostered the skills and knowledge, to which I drew on at the regional final."