Long wait finally over for Tasman young farmer

Reuben Carter has placed second for the past five years, and now, finally, he will be going to the Grand Final for the 2013 ANZ Young Farmer Contest in Auckland 16-18 May.

The twenty-nine year old comfortably took first place at the Tasman Regional Final in Oxford at the A&P Show, Saturday 30 March.

“It was five years of hard slog…each year I worked on my weaknesses and came back with a positive attitude and open mind”, commented Reuben on all his hard work and preparation.

Reuben went home with his share of the prize pool valued at over $9000 which includes cash from ANZ and AGMARDT, a Lincoln University Scholarship, Ravensdown fertiliser products, Silver Fern Farms products, a Honda farm bike, and outdoor power equipment from Husqvarna.

Contestants were fighting tooth and nail for a place in the top four and there was only a three point spread between second, third and fourth places.

Cam Henderson from the Coalgate Young Farmers Club came second, Andrew Wiffen of the Renwick Young Farmers Club was a close third and Mark Riddington of Hurunui Young Farmers Club was right on this tail in fourth.

Reuben also won both the Silver Fern Farms Agri-sport and Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenges and Cam took out the Lincoln University Agri-growth and AGMARDT Agri-business Challenges.

Reuben admits that he “needs a good challenge to get out of bed in the morning” and enjoys the Contest because “you get to see other industries you otherwise wouldn’t have any exposure to.”

He is employed as a graduate trainee with a seed company in Christchurch and will be graduating in two weeks’ time with a Bachelor in Agriculture from Lincoln University.

Reuben enjoys stock judging, hunting, rodeos, flying – he is working on his pilot’s licence – and he is very active in competitive wood chopping; he competes at most agricultural shows around the country and hopes to make the senior New Zealand team one day.

He has a good start on his long term goal of farm ownership. “I have been fortunate these last few years and have been able to build up a bit of equity”, he explained. Reuben has also recently registered his Romney stock and is working on increasing those stock numbers.

Over the next six weeks Reuben will be busy “cramming like mad” before he heads to Grand Final where his skills will be tested against seven other top achievers from across the country as they battle it out for the glory of the Young Farmer of the Year title and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes.

The AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Regional Finals were also held over the weekend.

“Another great weekend for the last Regional Final in Oxford, all competitors were rearing to get started and showed off their great talent and knowledge”, commented AgriKidsNZ & TeenAg Project Leader Josie Hampton.

In first place for AgriKidsNZ was George Pain, Grace Gorton and Joanna Ford from Cust School. In second, was Fraser Philip, Corbin Mechen and Jared Hammond from Loburn School followed by Ben Goodman, Liam Coll and James Bitmead from Waihi Boys and Darfield High in third.

Jack and Ben Early from St Andrews College placed first in the TeenAg Competition followed by Derek Deans and Luke Holmes representing Christchurch Boys High School and Alexander McIntosh and Hamish Dalzell of St Andrews College in third place.

The top three teams from each competition will have the opportunity to progress through to the Grand Final in Auckland, 16-18 May.

Be sure to catch all the action on the ‘Road To The Young Farmer Final’. The series, hosted by Mark Leishman, follows the seven Regional Finals and covers the seven finalists who make it through to the Grand Final. Exclusive to TVNZ Heartland watch the ‘Road To The Young Farmer Final’ Sundays 8.30pm.

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