Tasman's regional finalists have been chosen for season 54 of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
The preliminary stages of the contest have wrapped up, with 37 competitors, over Tasman North and Tasman South, battling it out for one of the eight regional finalist spots.
Tasman North finalists are Lincoln University students, Archie Woodhouse, Phoebe Smailes and Andrew Allan and dairy farmer and seasoned competitor Jonny Brown.
Tasman South finalists are West Coast Young Farmers' Sam Smithers, PGG Wrightson seed representative Ash Foley, Lincoln Young Farmers' George Dodson and Renwick Young Farmers' Blair Anglesey.
They will go head-to-head at the regional final on Saturday, February 19, 2022, in Lincoln, where only one person will win Tasman Young Farmer of the Year and qualify for the grand final in July.
First-time competitor 19-year-old Phoebe Smailes is expected to give some of the older contestants a run for their money, after coming runner up at the Tasman South District Contest.
At just 14 years old, Smailes became the youngest female to run at a New Zealand open class dog trial - which she went on to win.
This also made her the youngest person to take out a New Zealand open title.
"My biggest motive for these hobbies and involvements would, hands down, have to be my immediate family, especially mum and dad," she said.
"Both of them have been strong supporters in everything I do and I will forever be grateful for what opportunities they have and may continue to give me."
Meanwhile, regional final convenor and Darfield Young Farmer, Steph Kelly, said she was looking forward to making practical skills and challenges a big part of the regional final.
"My overall goal for the Tasman Regional Final is to put on a great practical day and evening show to bring the community together and get people off-farm.
"It is so important to get time off-farm - especially with the adverse weather we've had year-to-date down here."
Every year the competition improved despite Covid-19 challenges, New Zealand Young Farmers chief executive Lynda Coppersmith said.
"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 Tasman regional final results
1st - Archie Woodhouse, Lincoln Young Farmers
2nd - Phoebe Smailes, Lincoln Young Farmers
3rd - Andrew Allan, Lincoln Young Farmers
4th - Jonny Brown, Dunsandel Young Farmers
1st - Sam Smithers, West Coast Young Farmers
2nd - Ash Foley, Waimakariri Young Farmers
3rd - George Dodson, Lincoln Young Farmers
4th - Blair Anglesey, Renwick Young Farmers