Meet you Saturday night at Springston Hall.
Did you know Mary Bumby introduced honeybees to New Zealand in 1839? No? Incredibly, her name has nothing to do with the naming of Bumble Bees, or any bees. Quite possibly history’s greatest example of a surname impacting the course of a life.
The seven Tasman Region finalists for the FMG Young farmer of the Year hadn’t heard of Mary’s exploits either. Though they had answers to other questions during the four quiz rounds at Springston Hall, Saturday evening, 19th February.
Rural Leaders were fortunate to be invited by our strategic investing partner FMG to catch this thrilling conclusion to several days of competition, to find the Tasman Regional Winner. Competitors had given their all in three components of competition: Agri-business, Agri-skills, and Agri-Sports. They crafted a ‘chair’ from a wood palette, filleted (in some cases butchered) a salmon, they did the maths on the application of fertiliser, and competed in fencing too.
And so, it all came down to the Springston Hall for the fourth Agri-Knowledge component, to determine the winner and finalists for the national competition later this year.
Te Radar sounds the alarm.
After a BBQ dinner and some masked, socially-distanced mixing, long-time host Te Radar kicked off the evening with the housekeeping, which included the obligatory fire evacuation notice – and at that exact moment an actual fire alarm sounded. We all evacuated. The rural fire brigade eventually gave the all-clear and the seven finalists took their places.
The finalists were: Archie Woodhouse and Phoebe Smailes of Lincoln University Young Farmers, Andrew Allan and George Dodson of Lincoln Young Farmers, Jonny Brown of Dunsandel Young Farmers, Ash Foley of Waimakariri Young Farmers, and Blair Anglesey of Renwick Young Farmers.
Entering this final evening, Jonny Brown had the lead, with Andrew Allan in second.
Fingers on buzzers please.
The first round ‘Photo ID’ asked contestants to identify everything from a specific arable crop to a breed of pig, through to filling in a missing element on a familiar sector logo.
Round two ‘Rapid Fire’ gave each contestant 30 seconds of questions. Performances here were strong, with the highlight being an ability to anticipate the answer to a question cut-off by the timer. Contestants were allowed to answer despite not having the full question.
Best anticipation efforts were Archie Woodhouse’s ‘Marlborough’ to the cut question “What region…?” (What region is the mainstay of New Zealand mussel farming?”) And Phoebe Smaile’s ‘Four,’ to the cut question “What is the minimum clearance…?” (“What is the minimum clearance for equipment from overhead powerlines?”)
Round three was an observation round. Here a video was played with questions following. A hard round, though had this not been a dry event, it would have been harder still.
And the winner of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year, Tasman is...
The final round was a ‘quick buzzer,’ here big movers were Phoebe Smailes and Ash Foley, but not enough to break into the top three. After a focussed period of calculation from the judges, the final places were awarded.
The top female competitor’s prize went to Ash Foley. Third place, by just one point, went to Archie Woodhouse, second was Andrew Allan, and seasoned competitor Jonny Brown took the overall win, after missing out last year.
This was an expertly organised event and a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Thank you to FMG’s Michelle Stephenson for the invite.
The Contest series Grand Final is scheduled for Whangarei in July.
Keep an eye out for details here.