Will Grayling is the 2011 Young Farmer of the Year.
Twenty five year old Will from the Pendarves Club was representing the Aorangi Region. He’s a manager on a 1600 cow dairy farm in Ashburton and is due to marry Kim in December this year. He has a Masters of Applied Science from Lincoln University and was a first time Contestant at Grand Final level.
It didn’t look like it was going to be Will’s night earlier on and even he was worried that the title could be out of his grasp after he made some mistakes in the early question buzzer rounds.
“I thought it was slipping away several times – I got off to a rough start.”
In the end though, his all-round performance secured him the win; he took out the AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge after delivering a presentation on the supply of colostrum earlier in the week. He received an AGMARDT Scholarship towards a career development programme valued at $15,000. He also won the Lincoln University Agri-growth Challenge, taking away a Lincoln University conference package for an industry related conference – domestically or internationally to the value of $8,000. It was a tight race though; Will won the Challenge by only .2 of a mark over Tim van de Molen.
Will also won a $62,000 Grand Final prize package that includes 12 month’s complimentary use of an Isuzu D-Max valued at approximately $15,000, a Honda TRX420FPM power steer four-wheel drive manual ATV $ valued at 15,000, $10,000 cash from The National Bank, 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.Isuzu Agri-Sports winner – 12 month’s complimentary use of a Isuzu D-Max valued at $15,000.
When my farmer was runner up in the 10th contest he won a Honda 90 motorbike. The winner, Steve Ryan who very sadly died about 10 years later, got a tractor and a trip round the world.
In those days, when there were fewer alternative social and leadership opportunites for rural youth, Young Farmers had about 7,000 members.
Membership dropped to about 1,500 a few years ago but that was its nadir. It has turned around and is increasing again.