The showcase event on every Young Farmer’s calendar is finally here. Today (Wednesday 23rd May) Dunedin’s Wall Street Mall played host to the Official Opening of the 44th National Bank Young Farmer Contest Grand Final for 2012.
Dunedin City Councillor Andrew Noone opened proceedings on behalf of Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull. Mr Noone said he was delighted that Dunedin was chosen to host the event as the city is “right behind the rural sector.”
Contest Chairman Bevan Proffit made special mention of the Contest Sponsors; “their involvement helps develop our future leaders.” Mr Proffit also wished all seven Grand Finalists the best of luck; “give it your all and may the best person win.”
2011’s Contest Champion Will Grayling had some advice for this year’s crop. “It’s a high pressure week for the Contestants. They need to manage themselves and the pressure of the week – that’s what will influence the outcome.”
Contest Compere Craig ‘Wiggy’ Wiggins introduced the 2012 Grand Finalists to the crowd before they were put straight to the test with an impromptu fashion challenge. Contestants were paired with a crowd volunteer and required to create a wearable arts costume made from a wool fadge and other materials.
It was Waikato/Bay of Plenty’s Sam Williams that took out the fun fashion challenge today with a creation that included a nod to the Contest’s Principal Sponsor, The National Bank; however it is not until tomorrow that the three day Contest truly begins.
The Technical Day is to be held tomorrow at the Invermay Research Station. Friday plays host to the Practical Day of the Contest at the Forsyth Barr Stadium. The Contest Champion will then be announced at the Edgar Centre during the Televised Grand Final Evening Show which screens live on TVNZ 7 at 7.05pm on Saturday 26th May.
To qualify for the Grand Final each of the seven Grand Finalists had to first win their respective Regional Finals earlier this year. Four Contestants are returning to Grand Final level in 2012; Otago/Southland’s Pete Gardyne, Sam Williams from the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Region, Tasman’s Michael Lilley and Andrew Scott from the Aorangi Region. Katherine Tucker is Northern’s representative and only the third female to ever compete at Grand Final level. Rounding off the field is Tony Dowman from the East Coast Region and Taranaki/Manawatu’s Brad Lewis.
This year’s top Young Farmers are competing for the title of 2012 Contest Champion along with a generous winners prize pack valued at over $70,000. This includes a Honda TRX420FPM power steer four-wheel drive manual ATV valued at $15,000 and a Honda EU20 inverter generator valued at $3,000; $15,000 cash from The National Bank, a farm technology package courtesy of Silver Fern Farms totalling $15,000; quality products and services from Ravensdown to the value of $7,000; a selection of quality outdoor power equipment from Echo to the value of $7,000; a Lincoln University scholarship for study towards a Specialist Masters of Professional Studies or entry to the Kellogg Programme valued at $5,000; an AGMARDT Scholarship towards a career development programme valued at $2,000 and a range of Swanndri clothing to the value of $1,000.
For more information about The National Bank Young Farmer Contest Grand Final:
NZYF Communications Coordinator
027 213 0068