Christchurch to host next Young Farmer of the Year final

Christchurch has been announced as host of the next FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.

The 2019 event was held in Hawke's Bay on Saturday night, with 22-year-old Aucklander, James Robertson announced as the winner. 

Event convenor, Sarah Heddell said having the final in Christchurch was a chance to showcase the region.

"This is a really exciting opportunity to highlight the important role Canterbury plays in our agri-food sector," she said.

She said Canterbury consisted of a diverse mix of dairy, sheep and beef, and cropping operations.

Half of New Zealand's grain seed and fodder cropland is in Canterbury, according to Statistics New Zealand.

NZ Young Farmers chief executive Lynda Coppersmith was also excited at the news.

"Christchurch is New Zealand's third-largest city. The contest is a great way to help grow urban residents' understanding of modern food production," she said.

Sarah Heddell is excited about  convening the next final.
Sarah Heddell is excited about convening the next final. Photo credit: Supplied

Meanwhile, Sarah Heddell said convening an FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final was a dream role for her.

The 31-year-old Dunsandel Young Farmers member is a land management and biodiversity advisor for Environment Canterbury and lives in Ashburton.

She's helped run four regional finals - convening two of them - and was majorly involved with the 2014 grand final.

"I love everything about the contest. It challenges people and helps them to learn and grow, it highlights the vital role the agri-food sector plays in the economy and it also brings people together," said Sarah.

The event will be held in Christchurch 2nd-4th July 2020.