Daniel Bradbury moved to Kawakawa from England to seize opportunities in the dairy industry — and has been named the Northern FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
He won the hotly contested Northern Regional Final in Kerikeri, where seven finalists tackled a series of gruelling modules, including a fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz.
"I'm pretty blown away. I didn't pick it," said Daniel, who grew up in a town near Sheffield, England. Daniel settled here with his partner in 2014 and has been an active member of Bay of Islands Young Farmers.
"Taking part in the contest is a good way to benchmark yourself and it pushes you out of your comfort zone," he said. "It's also an opportunity to learn new skills."
This was his third attempt at the title.He won almost $12,000 worth of prizes, including an XR150 Honda farm bike. He also won the Massey University Agri-Growth Challenge and the Meridian Energy Agri-Knowledge Challenge.
Daniel, 28, is in his first season contract milking 515 cows at Kawakawa. He hopes to be 50:50 sharemilking within three years.
"We moved to New Zealand because there are more opportunities to progress if you work hard," he said.
Next is the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill in July.
Second place went to Tim Dangen, who jointly owns a farm with his parents at Muriwai. It was his first time competing in a regional final.
Wellsford 50:50 sharemilker Guy Bakewell took third place and the AGMARDT Agri-Business Challenge.
Qualified fitter and turner John Kenworthy-Thompson, who helps run a family dairy and beef business at Maungaturoto, won the Agri-Sports Challenge.
Kamo dairy farm manager Clement Lafon won the Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge.
It's the 50th Young Farmer of the Year, which began in 1969.