365 days of gratitude

July 8, 2018

My farmer was almost too old for Young Farmers by the time we married.

That shouldn’t have stopped me joining, but to my regret, I chose not to.

He was on the organising committee of what was then the Skellerup Young Farmer of the Year contest so I went to those and have also accompanied him to the Young Farmers’ World Congress and several Young Farmer reunions.

That gave me a real appreciation of the value of Young Farmers and its role in education and leadership training and the strength of the friendships it fostered.

Attending the 50th anniversary of the Young Farmer contest on Thursday, enjoying the company of friends and Invercargill’s hospitality culminating in the FMG YOung Farmer contest last night reinforced all that.

While I still regret not joining the organisation, I’m grateful that for what I’ve gained from it albeit as the partner of an older Young Farmer rather than as a former member myself.


August 22 in history

August 22, 2009

On August 22:

565 St Columba reported seeing the Loch Ness Monster.

1851 the first America’s Cup was won by the yacht America.

1862 French composer Claude Debussy was born.

1864 12 nations signed the first Geneva Convention and the Red Cross was formed.

1893 US writer Dorothy Parker was born.


1934 Genral “Storman’ ” Norman Schwarzkopf

1969 The first Young Farmer of the Year contest was held. The winner was Gary Frazer.


Tuesday’s answers

August 11, 2009

Monday’s questions were:

1.Who wrote Tall Tales (Some True)?

2. Who said:” I can still deliver the goods because I can honestly say I’ve got everything I had 20 years ago….it’s just all a bit lower”?

3. Which is the highest mountain in the Americas?

4.Who won the first Skellerup Young Farmer of the Year contest and who won this year’s National Bank Young Farmer title??

5. What is a shrievalty?

Paul T gets the electronic bunch of flowers for getting 4 1/2 right; Gravedodger got two correct, he earned a bonus for admitting he hadn’t read one of the questions correctly and another for doing penance; Ray gets a bonus for honesty and PDM gets one for humour.

The answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Monday’s quiz

August 10, 2009

1.Who wrote Tall Tales (Some True)?

2. Who said:” I can still deliver the goods because I can honestly say I’ve got everything I had 20 years ago….it’s just all a bit lower”?

3. Which is the highest mountain in the Americas?

4.Who won the first Skellerup Young Farmer of the Year contest and who won this year’s National Bank Young Farmer title?

5. What is a shrievalty?


Young Farmers take over Ashvegas

July 11, 2008

When the then Skellerup Young Farmer of the Year contest moved from radio to television the TV people said the contest would have to be filmed in a studio in Wellington.

The Young Farmers’ organising committee said no, that would kill the contest, it must stay in the reigons. They won and the contest moves round each of Young Farmers’ seven regions, alternating between North & South Islands each year.

The result is rivalry not just between contestants but between regions who ensure they have the best Grand Final possible. In the process they attract a lot of local support and visitors from all over the country.

This year’s final of what is now the National Bank Young Farmer Contest  is taking place in Ashburton. Tickets to tomorrow night’s show and dinner sold out weeks ago and there isn’t a spare bed to be had for miles around. It’s great for the local economy, for the contest and Young Farmers.

The programme started on Wednesday with a north vs south rural challenge in the town’s main street. It was won by the South Islanders, who may have had an at-home advantage for the swede tossing.

The contest got more serious yesterday with theoretical and technical challenges and the presentation of a project on market innovation.

Last night’s three minute prepared speeches covered a variety of topics including Heros: Hone Heke or Hopkins? It’s a personal choice; My Frist Time and Taking An Agricultural Approach to Raising Children.

Today it’s all go on the Ashburton Domain for the practical competition which carries a lot of points and may determine the winner because, if as happened last year there is a tie at the end, the title goes to the one with the most points in the practical.


Count Down to Nat Bank Young Farmer Contest

July 9, 2008

The seven finalists in the National Bank Young Farmer Contest  have been working for months to prepare themselves for the competition which starts in Ashburton on Thursday.

Aorangi finalist Nick Webster is hoping to better his own and his father’s places in previous contests. Nick, a partner in the family’s cropping farm in North Otago, was third in the final three years ago and Jock was second in what was then called the Skellerup Young Farmer of the Year in the 1970s.

The Otago Southland finalist Kyle Thorburn was sixth in last year’s final. The other finalists are Grant Charteris (East Coast), James Donaldson (Northern), Steve Knight (Tasman), Fraser McGougan (Waikato-Bay of Plenty) andDavid Skiffington (Taranaki-Manawatu).

Judges will be testing them on a combination of farming knowledge, business, public speaking, practical and personal skills and intelligence – the range of skills and abilities modern farmers need to succeed.

At stake is $82,185 worth of prizes for the winner including a Ford Ranger four-wheel-drive utility, a Honda four-wheel-drive ATV, a selection of Echo equipment, cash from the National Bank, Ravensdown fertiliser and Swanndri clothing.

The total prize package for the final of $160,810 includes a Lincoln University Scholarship and the winner of the Market Innovation Challenge receives an AGARDT scholarship for the FAME programme valued at $28,125.

Buts its not just about what they might win, the finalists have come through tough district and regional contests so getting to the contest is an achievement in itself; and the winner gets not just the prizes but the kudos which goes with being the country’s top Young Farmer.


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