Although contestants have now returned home to recuperate, the team at New Holland are still celebrating a successful first year of involvement with the FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest.
New Holland signed on as a major sponsor of the contest in October 2016 and has supported contestants and clubs during both the Regional Finals and Grand Final, hosted in Palmerston North and Feilding recently.
Following three days of tough competition it was Otago/Southland representative Nigel Woodhead who came out on top – walking away with a considerable prize package, including his choice of either a New Holland Boomer 25 tractor and loader or the equivalent value towards a larger New Holland tractor.
The success of the event comes as no surprise to the New Holland crew. Operations Manager Brett Stiven knew from the get-go that a partnership with New Zealand Young Farmers was an ideal fit.
“Over 12 months ago we decided that engaging and supporting the future farmers of New Zealand was going to be the core focus area for our business. We care deeply about the growth, stability and sustainability of our industry and have created a programme to support the continual development of the next generation of farmers. After our first conversation with New Zealand Young Farmers we knew that what they were doing aligned 100 percent with the New Holland Future Farmers initiative.
Industry diversity, challenges, changes and progression – we understand these things, and we understand that sometimes a little help can go a long way. This is why we’re not only sponsoring the Young Farmer of the Year contest, but will also look for opportunities to support local clubs and members across the country throughout the year.”
A key component to the success of this partnership has been the uncanny alignment between the values and culture of New Holland and those of New Zealand Young Farmers.
“From the moment we signed on as a sponsor, it was clear to me that New Zealand Young Farmers is more like a large family than an organisation. I watched countless displays of teamwork, support and acknowledgement from all of the organisers, volunteers, members and contestants involved. This is exactly how we like to operate here at New Holland. We see ourselves as a heck of a lot more than just an agricultural machinery brand. We want to be a key player in supporting the future of our industry in its entirety, even for those not driving a blue tractor” commented Stiven.
Sharing the True Blue experience with contestants was great to watch for the New Holland team. During the Practical Day hosted at Manfeild seven T7 tractors were used by finalists in the head-to-head AgriSports challenge. New Holland representatives also ran one of the modules for the TeenAg Competition, which proved to be a memorable moment for Stiven. “I loved seeing these youngsters getting behind the wheel of New Holland machinery. Watching them cut their teeth on a new New Holland FR650 Forager Cruiser was pretty special”.
It was a long road to the Grand Final, not just for contestants but for sponsors too. New Holland’s support started with the first of seven Regional Finals in Roxburgh back in February, said Stiven.
“Another big highlight for me was seeing New Holland dealerships from around New Zealand roll up their sleeves and support each of the Regional Finals. Each of the dealerships involved really stepped up for their region and contributed a lot throughout the year, and I know that the local clubs all appreciated their support”.
New Holland is excited about continuing the growth of their Future Farmers initiative and announcements on future activities and sponsorship will be made in the coming months.
New Holland is imported in New Zealand by C B Norwood Distributors Ltd.