Oamaru agricultural consultant Alan Harvey is the Aorangi FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

It was the 27-year-old's fourth attempt at a regional title, but the first representing the club where his Young Farmers involvement began 12 years ago - Five Forks.

Mr Harvey won the competition in Oamaru on Saturday from six other candidates. They completed a series of tasks at the North Otago A&P Show during the day, then the final placings were decided at an evening function at the Loan and Merc.

As well as the overall title and $12,000 of prizes including a farm bike, Mr Harvey won food production and technology awards.


"It's been an amazing journey, but I've had a massive support team behind me," Mr Harvey told the audience on Saturday night.

"The other contestants put up a tough challenge."

Mr Harvey's success at regional level follows his return to his home patch - a sheep and beef farm at Airedale, where he hopes to become the sixth generation of his family to run the property.

Mr Harvey helped establish a Young Farmers club at Waitaki Boys' High School when he was a pupil there. He then joined local clubs while studying for his agricultural science honours degree at Lincoln University and working further north after graduating, and was fourth in the Tasman regional final in 2016.

A move to Central Otago to be an Agriseeds agronomist led him to contest two consecutive Otago-Southland titles representing the Upper Manuherikia Young Farmers Club. He was second last year and won the agriskills challenge.

Mr Harvey went back to Oamaru about a year ago to work for Agri Planz, an environmental planning management service for farmers. His role is a mix of technology and on-the-ground skills including farm mapping, design and development.

He also helps out at the family farm and has joined New Zealand Land Search and Rescue.
Mr Harvey said he did not practise for the agri-skills components of the Young Farmer of the Year competition - he got enough training at home.

However, he said he would have to brush up on his knowledge of the dairy sector before the national final in Hawke's Bay in July.


Methven arable farmer Campbell Sommerville (25) came second in the Aorangi contest and Carew contract milker and bull fattener Josh McAtamney (30) was third.

The FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Aorangi competition, formerly called TeenAg, was won by Geraldine High School pupils Jacob Price and Patrick Foley-Smith (both 17).

The AgriKidsNZ winners were Hamish Paton, Isla Connelly-Whyte and Charlie Scammell from Ashburton Intermediate School.