A media release from the FMG Young Farmer contest:
For the first time in its 49-year history, an Otago farmer is the FMG Young Farmer of the Year with Milton sheep and beef farmer, Nigel Woodhead, convincingly winning the prestigious title after three days of gruelling competition.
The 28-year-old was overwhelmed and emotional after 3 days of intense competition.
“I watched FMG Young Farmer of the Year when I was a child, so to win it, is a childhood dream that I think will take a long time to sink in,” Woodhead said.
A popular winner, Nigel graduated from University with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science before working at Midlands Seed in Ashburton for five years, prior to heading home to the family farm.
The win is particularly relevant in the Woodhead household as Nigel grew up in a family that watched the Contest every year with his Dad competing at a young age.
For Nigel it is the realisation of a dream.
“My wife Leanne and I worked really hard and to win this is incredible!”
Contest Chairman and former Grand Finalist Dean Rabbidge said he was thrilled to see an Otago Southland farmer take the title home.
“History has been made tonight in a proud farming province and we couldn’t be happier.”
NZ Young Farmers CEO Terry Copeland said Nigel was the epitome and pinnacle of what future leaders in the Agri-sector need to be.
“The FMG Young Farmer of the Year continues to showcase the brilliant young leadership our organisation strives to develop. Nigel is an inspiring future leader who showcases the exceptional leaders we strive to develop.”
FMG Young Farmer of the Year:
First Nigel Woodhead, Otago Southland
Second, Hamish Best, East Coast
Third, Andrew Wiffen, Tasman
AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge winner: Hamish Best
Massey University Agri-Growth Challenge: Lisa Kendall
Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge : Nigel Woodhead
Hynds Agri-sport Challenge: Arjan van’t Klooster
Meridian Energy Agri-knowledge Quiz and Speech challenge: Hamish Best
How the FMG Young Farmer of the Year works:
400 contestants competed in 22 District Contest and Skills Day nation-wide.
56 contestants compete in seven regional finals from Northern, Waikato-Bay of Plenty, Taranaki-Manawatu, East Coast, Tasman, Aorangi, Otago-Southland from February to April.
The seven winners of the regional final will now compete at the Grand Final in the Manawatu this week.
In 49 years only four females have ever made the Grand Final:
Denise Brown who placed Seventh in 1981
Louise Collingwood who was Placed Third and Runner Up in 2001 and 2003
Katherine Tucker placed Seventh in 2012
Lisa Kendall in 2017.
He’s not the first Otago winner, but he’s the first from the province in more than 20 years.