Thursday, August 18, 2022

Hometown hero wins FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Tim Dangen is the 2022 Young Farmer of the Year, winning the grand final on home soil in Whangārei after three days of grueling challenges.

Waikato-Bay of Plenty representative Chris Poole, 27, was runner-up, just missing out on the title to his brother-in-law by a whisker.

Dunsandel Young Farmer Jonny Brown, 31, representing Tasman, came in third place.  

The winner was announced at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Evening Show at McKay Stadium on Saturday night.

Dangen won a prize pool worth over $75,000. 

The 30-year old beef farmer also claimed the FMG People’s Choice Award and three out of the five challenges – Agri-Business, Agri-Sports and Agri-Knowledge.  

He said he was overcome with emotion, exhausted, excited and relieved to have taken out the title.  

“The competition within the Northern region over the last five years has been so strong, so I just want to represent all those people well, keep the work up going forward and encourage young people to get amongst it,” he said.  

It was Dangen’s first grand final after competing in four regional finals.  

“I’ve met a bunch of good people, learnt a whole lot, got a lot of growth out of it. It’s just such a good advocacy for the industry, I love this competition to bits,” he said.  

Te Kawa West Young Farmer, Poole, a dairy farmer, also took home the award for the Agri-Skills challenge.  

“It’s obviously not the result I came here for but I’m really stoked. I’ve said right from the start if me or Tim could do it, I’d be wrapped, so I’m really pumped that Tim won and I’m stoked to get second.

“It’s really cool for our families who have spent so much time at regional finals over the years, it’s really exciting for everyone involved.” 

Poole said his favourite parts of the contest were the agri-sports and farmlet, while he found the exam challenging.  

He reckoned he would have a rest for a few years, before giving Grand Final another crack.  

Tim Dangen in action during the practical section of the Young Farmer of the year competition.
Tim Dangen also claimed the FMG People’s Choice Award and three out of the five challenges – Agri-Business, Agri-Sports and Agri-Knowledge.

The contest started on Thursday with technical day before heading into the biggest day – practical day – on Friday where they battled through the pouring rain for eight hours completing a series of modules and time and points races. 

The same night, the seven finalists presented speeches to a crowd of 350 at the FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year and AgriKidsNZ Awards ceremony. 

Saturday morning saw some down time with their families for a volunteer morning, planting trees at Barge Showgrounds to leave their legacy in Whangārei before the big finale.  

The nerves kicked in that night at the evening show, as they went head-to-head in a buzzer quiz in front of a crowd of 650, racking up last-minute points before the winner was announced. 

“Tim Dangen is a fantastic ambassador for contest and the food and fibre sector and now we are thrilled to be able to call him the FMG Young Farmer of the Year for season 54,” chief executive Lynda Coppersmith said.

“He has proven over the past three days just how deserving he is of the title with innovative thinking, a passion for sustainability, a wide breadth of knowledge and the ability to think on his feet.  

“All these contestants have demonstrated positivity, endurance, good humour and humility over the last three days and are an inspiration to us all, young and old.”

The RD Sixer’s, a team of Waikato Primary school students, won the AgriKidsNZ competition.  

Made up pf 12-year-olds Liam Hodgson (Pirongia School), Arche Keelty (St Patrick’s School) and Leighton Barnett (St Columbus School), the trio racked up the most points  after a grueling day of challenges. 

A duo from Christchurch Girls’ High School won the FMG Junior Young Farmers of the Year.  

Erin Humm and Amelia Ridgen took home a whole raft of prizes worth more than $1,700 for their win, they also topped the points in the face off competition.

They became just the second female pair to win the coveted title.

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