Selwyn young farmers well placed

by Kent Caddick

Some top results for Selwyn contestants in this year’s Tasman Young Farmer of the Year regional final held at Innovation Park in Templeton recently.

West Coast dairy farmer, Andrew Wiffen, took out the final for the second year in a row and will go on to contest the national final later in the year.

Dunsandel-based farm consultant, Simon Ferguson, took out third place behind second-placed Jono Satterthwaite, who runs a 1,048-hectare dry stock farm at Culverden.

Ferguson was also the winner of the Massey University Agri-Growth Challenge at the regional final.
Livestock Improvement Corporation farm solutions manager, Vanessa Robinson of Charing Cross, took out the award for the highest placing female contestant, edging out another Selwyn contestant, Megan Hands of Darfield.

The regional final saw eight finalists tackle a series of gruelling modules, including a fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz.

Competing in his seventh and last regional final, Wiffen proved too strong for the other competitors, and as well as taking out the overall title he took out the coveted Ravensdown Agri-Skills Challenge, AGMARDT Agri-Business Challenge and the Meridian Energy Agri-Knowledge Challenge titles.

Wiffen won almost $12,000 worth of prizes, including an XR150 Honda farm bike, for his efforts.

“I’m stoked to be heading to grand final again. It’s an amazing experience,” Wiffen said.

“It’ll be a chance for me to rectify errors I made last year.”

The 30-year-old sharemilker from the Grey Valley placed third in the 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final in Feilding.

This year’s final will be held in Invercargill in July.

“I’d love to be the 50th FMG Young Farmer of the Year, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work to reach that goal,” he said.

The keen white baiter said he plans to work on his fitness and hone his strategy ahead of the prestigious final event.