[12 September/Stuff]

A key problem with the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition is that women aren’t winning and it is planning significant changes to attract more female entries. Farmer, Lisa Kendall, was one of only four women to have reached the final in the 50 years the contest had been running. She said there was always a physical aspect to farming which was reflected in the competition but the contest was physically and mentally exhausting. She planned to enter the contest again in an attempt to lead by example. She ran her own business, Nurture Farming, in south Auckland. NZ Young Farmers Contest Board Chairwoman, Rebecca Brown, said that in the early stages of the competition, the male to female split was even, however men dominated the finals. She added the physical aspect, preparation, mindset, and experience could be why they had not progressed further. The revamped contest would still have a strong practical side, and would be rolled out at the regional finals early next year.