A world-ranking squash player has joined the race to be the next FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Joseph Watts, 27, has secured a spot in the East Coast Regional Final after winning a qualifying event in Takapau last month.

"It was a lucky day for me and a big surprise to take out first place," said Joseph who's a technical field rep for PGG Wrightson.

Competitors spent the day tackling a range of modules testing their practical and theoretical skills.

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They had to weigh and drench cattle, weigh and market a line of lambs, use a tractor to stack pallets and conduct an autopsy on a sheep.

"I signed up to learn some new skills. I'm new to the primary industries, so the more skills I can pick up the better," he said.

Joseph has a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and a Graduate Diploma in Rural Studies from Massey University.

The Tikokino Young Farmers member joined PGG Wrightson in 2016 and started his new role four months ago.

Joseph represented New Zealand in squash between 2008 and 2013, achieving a world ranking of 169.

"I really enjoy the physical aspect of playing squash. The sport took me to Australia and around New Zealand, which was exciting," he said.

Joseph will be joined at the East Coast Regional Final in Dannevirke by Robert Barry, Jonathon Green and Alice Speedy.

The four finalists will be decided on November 10. They face off in the East Coast Regional final of Young Farmer of the Year in April.