Second chance for Waikato Bay of Plenty FMG Junior Young Farmers of the Year

Posted by on 9 February 2020 | Comments

A duo from Te Awamutu College have taken out the Waikato Bay of Plenty FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year title.

15 year old year 11 students, Alex Fitzgerald and Alex West won the contest held at Saint Pauls Collegiate on Saturday.

In second place were “Rod and Todd”- Luke Farrell and Fergus Casey from Putaruru College.

The competition for students in high school Teen Ag Clubs ran alongside the Waikato Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer of the Year (FMG YFOTY) Regional Final.

Both teams have been invited to compete at the Grand Final in Christchurch in July.

Fitzgerald and West said they were shocked by the win and are pumped to be heading to Christchurch.

“I’ve always wanted to go down south, now I’ve got an excuse to,” West said excitedly.

“It was pretty challenging, especially the quiz that was pretty hard.”

It was the second time competing for the duo, who came runner up for Waikato Bay of Plenty in 2018 and 12th overall at the Grand Final.

Fitzgerald was also awarded overall FMG JR FYOTY Competitor of the Year in the 2019 contest. 

Competing this year, the pair said they utilised their different strengths, with West having grown up on a dairy farm and Fitzgerald on a sheep and beef farm.

“I’ve got the drystock farming background, deer and other bits of pieces,” Fitzgerald said.

The pair plan to fundraise to get to Grand Final through sourcing sponsors, selling sausage sizzles and a firewood raffle - with firewood season coming up.

11 FMG JR YFOTY teams battled it out in a series of modules hosted by the sponsors.

Points were added up, then the top five teams went head to head in a famous FMG YFOTY style buzzer quiz.

Here A2 managed to crawl ahead, using their shared strengths and knowledge to get the questions right.

The FMG JR YFOTY Competitor of the Day was also awarded to Timothy Lumsden from Hamilton Boys High School.

Teen Ag Clubs are aimed to introduce secondary school aged children to the opportunities available in the ag, food and fibres sector as well as provide leadership opportunities and a support network for students.

The event was sponsored by FMG, Ravensdown, Honda, WorkSafe, PTS, STIHL, Lincoln University, Massey University, Southfuels/Northfuels, Betacraft and New Holland. 



1st A2 – Alex Fitzgerald and Alex West, Te Awamutu College

2nd Rod n Todd – Luke Farrell and Fergus Casey, Putaruru College

3rd The Gumboot Gals – Chloe Cole and Nerdia Bateup, Te Kauwhata College

FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year Competitor of the Day – Timothy Lumsden