A South Canterbury dairy farmer is hoping it will be third time lucky in his bid to make it to the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.
Adam Judd (28), the vice-chair of Timaru Young Farmers and an assistant manager on a 720-cow dairy farm at Pleasant Point, will line up for the third time next month in Oamaru attempting to win the Aorangi regional final of the prestigious contest.
''I really enjoyed competing last year. I'm hoping that having done it before will give me a bit of an advantage,'' said Adam.
Four of the other contestants also have experience competing in hotly-contested regional finals.
Josh McAtamney (30) contract milks 950 cows and fattens bulls at Carew. It will be the former shepherd's second time competing.
He was runner-up in last year's event.
''I enjoy the practical modules and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this regional final. It should be exciting,'' Mr McAtamney said.
The pair will face-off against Alan Harvey (27), who is an Oamaru-based agricultural consultant with Agri Planz.
It is the former agronomist's fourth attempt at clinching a coveted spot in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.
''I grew up watching the contest on television and it's an event I've always aspired to be a part of,'' he said.
Mr Harvey has worked on a high-yielding 400ha irrigated cotton farm and harvested grain in Australia.
Timaru dry stock farmer William Ellis (28) has also spent time planting canola, wheat and barley across the Tasman.
''It's anyone's game going into the regional final. It looks like it will be evenly contested again this year,'' Mr Ellis said.
The Aorangi regional final will take place on February 23.
Contestants will tackle a series of gruelling practical and theoretical modules at the Oamaru A&P Showgrounds.
It will be followed by a dinner and fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz hosted by Te Radar at the Loan and Merc.
The other four regional finalists are Campbell Sommerville, Ezekiel Turner, Billy Dowle and Kerry Watson.
Mr Sommerville (25) works on a 600ha arable farm in Methven, growing wheat, barley, peas, fodder beet, kale and grass seed.
Mr Turner (26) is a stock manager at the sprawling 3800ha High Peak Station in the Rakaia Gorge.
Mr Dowle (26) farms across the Rakaia River from Mr Turner. He is a stock manager at Redcliffs Station, which runs about 3800 Merino ewes and 240 Angus cows.
Mr Watson (27) grew up on a sheep and beef farm in the United Kingdom and is a farm assistant on a 400-cow dairy farm at Five Forks.
The Aorangi event is the second of seven regional finals being held across the country between February and April.
The regional winners will face off at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Hawke's Bay in July.
Central Rural Life