Three farmers from Toko, Cardiff and Kaponga are competing in the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year this weekend.

They will join five other contestants from the Manawatu during the regional final in Wellington. It's the 50th anniversary of the agricultural competition which started out as a national radio quiz in 1969.

The contest is one of seven regional finals being held across New Zealand to decide contestants for the grand final of the competition in Invercargill in July.

Farmer Guy Harvey.
Farmer Guy Harvey.

Farmer Nick Brown is the oldest contestant in the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final.


"This will be my last chance at winning," says the 30-year-old who has a Diploma in Agriculture from Lincoln University.

Nick and his wife Sophie use a drone to make video blogs about life on their Toko sheep and beef farm.

Farmer Nick Brown.
Farmer Nick Brown.

It'll be his friend Dylan Brunton's first time competing in the competition. The 25 year old has a Bachelor of Science majoring in ecology and zoology from Massey University and is a herd manager on a 500-cow dairy farm at Cardiff.

"My strengths are probably any modules involving machinery like tractors and quad bikes."

Guy Harvey contract milks 220 cows in nearby Kaponga and enjoys the networking side of the contest.

"It's a great opportunity to meet people."

Contestants will be put through a diverse range of practical, theoretical and technical farming challenges for the competition. Each level of the competition combines practical hands on agriculture skills and general knowledge. he seven top regional finalists will battle it out for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year title in July.

The grand final is a full-on two-day event, including the practical day which includes all the hands-on competition plus technical elements such as an interview and an human resources challenge.

The regional final is at Crawford Green, Miramar on Saturday. An national final hosted by Te Radar will be held at Wellington College.

Contestants: Lachlan Fee, Palmerston North. Kieran McCahon, Palmerston North. Guy Harvey, Kaponga. Nick Brown, Toko. Michael McCombs, Kimbolton. Dylan Brunton, Cardiff. Will Taylor, Feilding and Emma Dangen, Palmerston North.