[16 November/Otago Daily Times]

For a second year in a row, New Zealand free to air television networks TVNZ and TV3 have declined to screen the FMG Young Farmer of The Year contest. TVNZ and TV3 have declined due to shifting television priorities to more entertainment-based programmes. Contest Chairman Dean Rabbidge said the contest board was aware of the shift in television priorities and had approached both networks with some fresh ideas. Mr Rabbidge added the contest is not willing to jeopardise the integrity of the contest just to make it more entertaining and there has been no willingness on from the networks to embrace what is still the most prestigious agricultural competition in the world. Mr Rabbidge praised NZ On Air for its ongoing support of the contest with funding. With no presence on television, the contest would be forced to use social media as its main platform next year.