FMG Young Farmer of the Year finalist Roshean Woods says she’s proof that there’s no need to come from a farming background to find a future in New Zealand’s agricultural sector.

The DairyNZ Farm Systems Scientist has competed seven times in the district round of the contest and 2021 was her first year making it to the regional final and then the Grand Final.

Passionate about the rural sector and what it has to offer, Roshean says her interest in a career in agri-science started after a visit from Lincoln University and Dairy NZ to her high school.

“I’m from an urban background so I’m not quite sure how I would’ve got involved if I hadn’t had the opportunity to hear what’s out there. It’s a really thriving area of New Zealand for job opportunities.”

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

“Entering each year is a bit like fear factor for me.

“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,” she says.

Roshean was this year’s only female grand finalist, and 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.”