In 2015, FMG became the principal sponsor of the Young Farmer of the Year Contest— the country's preeminent rural challenge that has contestants battling it out on all things agriculture.

The partnership has strengthened an age-old relationship dating back to the mid-1930s, where FMG played a significant role in the establishment of New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF).

FMG has a long history of backing our young farmers and the contest is also a way to attract people from outside rural New Zealand to the sector.

Roshean Woods has competed in FMG’s Young Farmer of the Year contest seven times and says she’s proof that there’s no need to come from a farming background to enter.

Sure, there’s challenges not coming from a rural background but I’m proud of who I am and where I’ve come from and hungry to learn as much as I can,

Once at university, Roshean joined the Christchurch City Young Farmers club and says she decided to start competing in Young Farmer of the Year contest with the view that it was a great learning opportunity.

“Entering each year is a bit like fear factor for me,” she says.

However, during the 2021 contest, fear was not a factor for the DairyNZ Farm Systems Scientist as she became the seventh ever woman to reach the Grand Final round. But she didn’t let that distract her.

“We’ve all got the same chance of winning. I thought I’m just one of the seven and my goal is to go and do my best and enjoy it.”

Her advice to those from urban backgrounds who are looking to enter is to be open-minded and just give it a go.

“It’s broadened my knowledge and my practical skills. I don’t know where I would’ve had the chance otherwise to learn so many different things.”