Otago Southland's regional finalists have been chosen for season 54 of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
Ben Harmer, Isaac Johnston, Matt Sullivan, Andrew Cowie, Alex Field, George Blyth, Kurt Knarston and James Fox are the top eight competitors in the Otago Southland region.
The finalists are made up of shepherds, sheep and beef farmers, a fencing contractor and rural and agribusiness bankers and were whittled down from 37 competitors over two districts.
They will go head-to-head at the regional final on February 12, 2022, in Waimumu, in a bid to be named 2022 Otago Southland FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
Zac Thomas is the Otago Southland regional final convener.
Thomas reckoned he could provide a challenging event, having competed in four district contests and one regional final himself.
"We plan to find the best FMG Young Farmer of the Year from Otago-Southland by testing their skill, their knowledge, their fortitude, and their character," he said.
Thomas enjoyed the challenge and adrenaline of competing, as well as the learning opportunities it provided.
"As a convener, I want to ensure that the competition remains at a high standard, and I aim to provide excellent competitor experiences."
New Zealand Young Farmers chief executive Lynda Coppersmith said the competition improved every year, even with Covid-19 challenges.
"We've already exceeded last year's entries across the country, despite the fact that entries for a number of district contests are still open."
Coppersmith said season 54 will test competitors to see "who's up for it'".
"All of our volunteers and conveners right across the country have created some incredible challenges so far, with regional final season expected to take that to another level."
She hoped the country will have shifted to the Covid-19 Protection Framework by January, and said all events would strictly follow the Government guidelines at the time.
FMG Young Farmer of the Year 2022 Otago Southland regional final results
1st - Ben Harmer, Maniototo Young Farmers
2nd - Isaac Johnston West Otago Young Farmers
3rd - Matt Sullivan, Maniototo Young Farmers
4th - Andrew Cowie, Nightcaps Young Farmers
1st - Alex Field, Nightcaps Young Farmers
2nd - George Blyth, Clinton Young Farmers
3rd - James Fox, Thornbury Young Farmers
4th - Kurt Knarston, Nightcaps Young Farmers