Kerry Taylor has just returned from a visit to the UK and Europe, but it was not all sightseeing.

She spent time in Scotland helping with docking on a farm.

That's what you do when farming's in your blood.

Now she's preparing herself for this month's Fieldays Rural Catch, part of the annual agricultural event held at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.


The young shepherd works at Mataitira, a farm on Fields Track. She and her seven dogs work the hilly property, as well as a finishing farm and a lease block near town, so there's not a lot of time for socialising. Hence her signing up to have a go at Rural Catch.

"I just want to put myself out there, a bit," she says.

Kerry is one of eight rural single "catches" selected for this year's competition, competing for an impressive prize pool worth $20,000 and to take home the Golden Gumboot.

Fieldays Rural Catch gives four young men and four young women the chance for some time off farm for an all-expenses paid trip to Fieldays and the chance to meet some like-minded individuals and compete for prizes.

Kerry's not sure what the competition entails, but she's ready for whatever they throw at her.

"I'm going into it blind." Not completely blind: When she spent a couple of years down south rousing, she met a man who had been a Rural Catch competitor, so she got some inside information.

There are two finalists from the South Island, six from the North Island and two wildcards selected by Fieldays Rural Catch partner Farmlands and The Edge.

Kerry's official Rural Catch bio reads:


"Contestant #2 is Kerry Taylor, a shepherdess from Whanganui, describes herself as an easy-going, positive, friendly girl who loves a laugh and doesn't take things too seriously. Kerry is passionate about stock welfare, she's after someone with a good sense of humour who's easy on the eye and her ideal date would be doing something outdoors like a hike or a horse ride."

In this year's competition competitors work on brushing up their confidence with media interviews and sponsor engagement and demonstrate their skills in the areas of fencing, innovations, chainsaws, health and wellbeing, finance and ATV skills.

On the Wednesday evening of Fieldays, contestants will get the chance to 'Meet a Mate' at an event off-site where they'll have the opportunity to have a bit of fun and meet some new people.

Kerry's father farms a block in the Ahu Ahu and she has ambitions to one day move into farm management.

Fieldays Rural Catch is partnered by Farmlands Co-operative and sponsored by Swandri, Suzuki, Skellerup and STIHL.