Milton sheep and beef farmer Nigel Woodhead won the title convincingly after three days of gruelling competition.
The 28-year-old was overwhelmed and emotional.
“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.
Woodhead graduated has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and worked 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 Woodhead 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 chief executive Terry Copeland said Woodhead 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