Kaponga dairy farmer in FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional finals line-up

By Brad Markham

Kaponga contract milker Guy Harvey.
Kaponga contract milker Guy Harvey.

A Kaponga dairy farmer has clinched a spot in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional final in Wellington.

Guy Harvey, who contract milks 220 cows, took out first place in a district contest at Urenui last month.

Contestants did everything from identify different fertilisers, to connecting water fittings and drafting ewes and lambs.

"My background gave me an advantage in the sheep modules," says Guy, who grew up on a sheep and beef farm in the Manawatu.

The 26-year-old entered the dairy industry nine years ago.

"It's been a tough, wet spring, but I really enjoy a challenge," says Guy. "We're growing fodder beet for the first time on the milking platform this season.

"We've planted over 3ha, which we'll start feeding in the autumn," he says.

Guy is a member of South Taranaki Young Farmers and it was his first time competing in an FMG Young Farmer of the Year qualifying event.

"There's a huge spectrum of stuff I have to study and try to learn before the regional final in February," says Guy.

He'll go up against the chairman of Central Taranaki Young Farmers, Nick Brown.

It'll be the Toko sheep and beef farmer's third attempt at winning a regional final.

"This will be my last chance to make it through to the national final. It would be great to go out on a high note," says Nick.

They'll be joined by Kimbolton contract milker Michael McCombs and Urenui sheep and beef farmer Lilly Newton.

The pair placed first and second respectively at a district contest at the Egmont A&P Show in Hawera this year.

"My strengths are definitely anything to do with tractors, shearing, health and safety and horses," says Lilly.

"Quizzes are my weak spot."

Lilly's family farm runs 1700 ewes, 400 Angus breeding cows, 200 Angus yearlings and 300 dairy grazers.

"We fatten around 2000 of our own lambs, which are a fast-growing Poll Dorset-Romney cross, plus about 3000 store lambs."

The 20-year-old, who's the chairwoman of Urenui Young Farmers, would ace any aviation modules.

"I'm currently completing my helicopter pilot's licence," says Lilly.

"I've grown up around helicopters and love the lifestyle of both aviation and farming.
"My dad reckons if you can find a job you love, you won't work a day in your life," she says.

- Stratford Press

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