Ben Orchard, 19, a two-time world archery champion, has joined the race to be the next FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

He has qualified for the Taranaki/Manawatu regional final after finishing second in a district contest in Palmerston North.

"I'm stoked. I only entered because I thought it would be a bit of fun and I like a challenge. I'm really excited," said Ben.

Competitors spent the day tackling 14 modules testing their practical and theoretical skills.


They had to draft ewes from a mob of hoggets, move a bale of hay around an obstacle course and complete a rural budgeting exercise.

"I enjoyed driving the telehandler. It was my favourite module. They're quite different to a tractor," said Ben.

Ben's in his second year studying a Bachelor of AgriCommerce majoring in farm management at Massey University.

He grew up at Mangawhai north of Auckland where he was home schooled from the age of 6.

Ben went on to win two world archery championships in 2011 and 2016.

Ben will be joined at the regional final in Whanganui by fellow Massey young farmers' club member Graham Johnson.

Graham was raised on a mixed dairy, deer, beef and sheep farm in Te Awamutu.
He attended Hamilton Boys' High School and competed in TeenAg Grand Finals in Taupo and Christchurch.

Graham Johnson
Graham Johnson

"It was an amazing experience. My teammate and I placed second in Christchurch," said the 20-year-old.

Graham is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Massey University and spends weekends working on a sheep and cattle station.

The two will face-off against six other competitors in the Taranaki/Manawatu regional final in April.