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The FMG Young Farmer of the Year is the flagship event for young farmers across New Zealand and we're proud to kit out this year's contestants in Bushbuck gear. We had a quick catch up with one of the grand finalists, Tom Adkins, ahead of the big event.
NZ Young Farmers (NZYF) is a non-profit organisation focused on connecting, nurturing, and empowering young people throughout rural communities. Weaved into the fabric of the food and fibre sector, NZ Young Farmers, or The NZ Federation of Young Farmers Clubs Incorporated, has been an integral part of the agricultural industry since 1927. The FMG Young Farmer of the Year is the flagship event for NZ Young Farmers and showcases the level of skill and knowledge of young people in the food and fibre sector. The Contest brings together competitors, industry leaders and volunteers to celebrate the future of the industry. Since the contest's inception in 1969, there have been many Young Farmers battle it out for the title of Young Farmer of the Year. Only seven contestants - the winner of each regional final - will compete in the Grand Final in Whangarei from July 7-9. The Grand Final will test contestants on a range of practical and theoretical challenges, all based on the food and fibre sector.
Bushbuck is getting in behind the 2022 Young Farmer of the Year competition by kitting the contestants out in Bushbuck gear. "Our gear is extremely popular with farmers around New Zealand as it's engineered for the rigour and ruggedness of rural life," says Bushbuck Founder and CEO Tim Dunn. "We're proud to support the Young Farmer of the Year Competition as it represents many of the values we uphold as a brand." NZ Young Farmers Sponsorship and Partnership Manager Jake Lonergan says he's excited to have Bushbuck backing the Grand Final. "Bushbuck encompasses everything that NZYF and the contest is about, supporting those out in the elements every day doing what they love. We are so thankful to Bushbuck for supplying our contestants with high-quality gear as they work through a range of demanding practical challenges at the Grand Final."
Tom is representing the Aorangi Region in the NZYF Grand Final. The 23-year-old has spent the last two years as a block manager on Caberfeidh Station, a 6,000-hectare farm running around 33,000 stock units. Q: How did you get into farming? A: I was brought up on a sheep and Beef farm near Whanganui, loved the lifestyle so I upskilled and did a bit of study and got amongst it. Q: What do you like and dislike the most about farming? A: I love getting out mustering on the hill, working with dogs to and the livestock is a huge draw card. On a wet stormy day with sleet and strong wind, and there are stock still to feed, those days can be unfavourable Q: Why did you decide to have a crack at the Young Farmer of the Year contest? A: It's the biggest contest celebrating the practical skills and knowledge across the primary industries. It's pretty much the Olympics of Agriculture and who wouldn't want to be a part of that. Q: What do you see as your main strengths/weaknesses heading into the Grand Finals? A: A good Attitude, there are only so many questions but 1000s of possibilities that could be asked upon, so preparing over a broad range and being proud of the work that I've put in is the aim. I am really looking forward to the practical day, it's going to be bloody tough but will be rewarding. Q: What role does hunting play in your life/on the farm? A: Hunting is my favourite escape to get out of the work mindset. As I'm working and living on farm it is sometimes quite difficult to switch off. So getting out into the hills is an excellent way to get out if the hustle and bustle of work and have some time with yourself or mates enjoying the beautiful country we live in. Q: You've been kitted out in Bushbuck gear for the competition. What do you make of it? A: I'm really looking forward to some more Bushbuck gear, I have a Polar X Jacket and wear it for work every day from March to November, it's in its second year of extensive use and holding up well.
Mark Holder is Marketing and Events Manager at Bushbuck. His job is to plan, create and execute all of Bushbuck's marketing and organise the events and shows we attend. Mark's the host of Bushbuck's "Tech Talk" video series where we provide in-depth gear reviews. He also gets roped into a fair few Bushbuck photoshoots. Mark was born in Geraldine and now lives in Christchurch. Outside of work, he's a keen outdoorsman. He enjoys snowboarding in the winter, wakeboarding in the summer, and tries to get out hunting with mates as much as possible. His favourite wilderness spot is the Orari Gorge waterfall in Geraldine. It was his local swimming spot as a kid and an amazing place to hang out over summer. He's also a big fan of the lakes around Twizel. Something that not many people know about Mark is he used to be a professional wakeboarder.