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It runs in the family in Southland: Pete Gardyne and his younger brother Richard will both be heading to Grand Final in May after they took out the Otago/Southland Regional Final titles for The National Bank Young Farmer Contest and TeenAg Competition respectively in the weekend.
Twenty four year old Pete bet seven other hopeful Contestants in The National Bank Young Farmer Contest to take out the title in Telford, a division of Lincoln University in Balclutha last night (Sunday 12th February). This will be Pete’s second chance at the Grand Final; he placed second in Gore in 2010.
After his big win the Waitane Club member spoke about being excited to have a second shot at the Grand Final title; “I learnt a lot the first time – finishing second is hard.”
A year off has given Pete time to relax and learn; “You need to be in the right head space [to have a go at Grand Final] and I really enjoyed just watching last year and helping with the organising at Regional Finals, which can be a lot more fun because you get to work in a team environment.”
Pete won the Regional Final by about 20 points and led the field for half of the Evening Show at the Telford gym but admitted that he was a little worried for a while; “I thought it was going to be close – they [the other Contestants] are a great bunch of guys.”
Having another go at Grand Final was a must for the driven 24 year old; his short term goal is to take out the Contest title and long term he hopes to own his own farming unit.
Enjoying life is important to Pete – he lists that as one of his goals and it was a theme that came through in a speech he gave on getting the most out of his staff. Pete manages a 1600 acre sheep, beef and arable block and believes that doing jobs with a smile and a laugh is one of the best ways to get the most out of his workers.
Pete is married to Esther and has been very actively involved in New Zealand Young Farmers since the age of 15. He has an impressive resume of NZYF and Contest events along with leadership roles – including current Chairman of the Otago/Southland NZYF Region.
On top of his NZYF commitments he also undertakes other community services by helping out at his local church where he takes on various roles and helps with events. He has also completed the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Like the other seven Regional Finalists, Pete is a product of Lincoln University and holds a Diploma in Agriculture and a Diploma in Farm Management (both with Distinction). He paid homage to the education provider on Sunday by pointing out that all eight of the Regional Finalists were Lincoln graduates.
Pete also won the Ravensdown Agri-Skills and Lincoln University Agri-Growth section on Sunday while runner up Craig Moffat from the Clinton Club took out the Silver Fern Farms Agri-Sports Challenge. Nathan Parris from the Nightcaps Club placed third, followed by his fellow Club member Simon Topham. The AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge was won by Wyndham Club’s Dean Rabbidge.
Over $20,000 worth of prizes were available to the Contestants last night and Pete alone received a prize pack worth over $10,000. The pack included a Honda XR125 two-wheeled farm bike valued at $4000, a $1500 Lincoln University Scholarship, $1000 cash and $500 towards a capability development programme from AGMARDT, $1000 worth of Ravensdown quality fertiliser products, $1000 from The National Bank, clothing valued at $750 from Swanndri and Silver Fern Farms will provide a package of quality produce valued at $500.
Lincoln University Scholarship’s for Excellence were awarded to two District Final Contestants and previous TeenAg Competitors; Bridget Henderson who is to start her first year of study at Lincoln this year and Tim Buckingham who has completed one year of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln.
TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ Regional Finals also took place at Telford and nearly 130 Primary and Secondary School aged students competed: all were hoping to be one of the top three teams to get the chance to compete at Grand Final in Dunedin in May.
In the AgriKidsNZ Competition it was the Tokanui Redbands from Tokanui School that took first place followed by the Farmer Fix Its from Balclutha and the Moolenium Farmers from Romahapa School.
TeenAg was won by 2011 Grand Finalists Richard Gardyne (Pete Gardyne’s younger brother) and Robert Gregory from Gore. Alec Chapman and Sam Hopewell from Otago Boy’s High School were second and Kasharni and Joshua Brown from Dipton placed third.