Two Otago/Southland farmers are set to join the board overseeing the FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest.

James Goodwin, 31, and Nigel Woodhead, 31, will take up positions on the NZ Young Farmers Contest Board in July.

The pair both have a long history with the national agricultural contest. Woodhead is a former grand final winner.

"Nigel and James have great leadership qualities and they will both be amazing assets to the NZYF Contest Board," said chair Rebecca Brown.


Goodwin runs a 480 hectare farm in Gore, which he leases off his parents. It has 4000 ewes and 1000 hoggets.

The Waitane Young Farmers member convened last year's 50th FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Invercargill.

FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest chair Rebecca Brown. Photo / Supplied
FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest chair Rebecca Brown. Photo / Supplied

"That was a real insight into the important planning which goes on behind the scenes to help drive the contest forward," said Goodwin.

"I grew a lot as a leader. I'm keen to ensure the contest continues to develop, thrive and showcase modern farming."

Woodhead leases his parents' 400 hectare sheep and beef farm in Milton and has been farming since 2015.

He competed for the first time in 2011 and took out the 2017 grand final. Woodhead convened this year's Otago/Southland regional final.

"The FMG Young Farmer of the Year has shaped me into the person I am today," said Woodhead.

"I'm now at the stage in my life where I want to give back."


Woodhead has almost completed the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme and James was a 2018 NZYF Excellence Award winner.

Cole Groves (left) and Dean Rabbidge. Photo / Supplied
Cole Groves (left) and Dean Rabbidge. Photo / Supplied

The pair will replace Cole Groves and Dean Rabbidge who first joined the committee in 2014.

"It's going to be different without them around. They have invested so much into the contest and will leave big shoes to fill," said Brown.

Groves and Rabbidge were pivotal in overhauling the iconic contest to ensure it showcases the primary industries in an engaging way.

They will step down after this year's grand final in Hawke's Bay on 4th-6th July.

The NZYF Contest Board is made up of eight people, including four appointed members.

The other two appointed members, Rebecca Brown and Alastair Neville, are from the North Island.