The grand final of the National Bank Young Farmer contest tonight will be the last one for Jim Hopkins who’s been the voice of the contest for 21 years.
If you only ever watch the show on television you would have only got a glimpse of or a few words from Jim who commentates the practical day. It’s quite a challenge, requiring good knowledge of the contestants and what they’re doing as well as a sense of humour and quick wit.
Jim’s had to show a more serious side compeering the regional finals and he’s needed all his skills to warm up the audience before the filming of the grand final and keep them warmed up during sometimes long pauses in filming.
“I’m really looking forward to stepping into the role; it’s going to be great watching the Contestants improve over the years and to see our youth being further educated in agriculture.”
Craig, a former mechanic by trade, brings a long history of announcing to the role; he’s the main announcer for New Zealand Rodeo and travels the country announcing around 35 rodeos a year. Craig has also been a jet sprints commentator and has acted as Master of Ceremonies at many different events during his announcing career. He has television and radio experience as a result of his career too.
Originally off a 300 hectare sheep and beef unit in Raetihi, Craig now lives near Ashburton in Mid Canterbury on a 28 hectare horse training and dairy grazing property. Craig’s background in agriculture meant he jumped at the chance to be a part of the iconic Contest.
“I’ve always been an avid follower of The National Bank Young Farmer Contest, my farming background means it’s something that has always appealed to me.”
Hopkins fans will still be able to tune into his regular Monday chats with Jamie Mackay on the Farming Show.