Emma Poole wins 2023 FMG Young Farmer of the Year in the 55th season

At 2023’s FMG Young Farmer of the Year, a momentous occasion that will go down in history, Emma Poole, was awarded the title in front of a sell out crowd in Timaru on Saturday 8 July.

The first woman to don the Cloak of Knowledge and lift the trophy, 28-year-old Pirongia dairy farmer, Emma, said her win is testament to those courageous women that came before her.

“We finally knocked the grass ceiling off this roof. I say ‘we’ because a long chain of beautiful women have worked hard to get here, so thank-you to everyone who has put in a huge effort to display the important role we play in agriculture.”

Representing the Waikato / Bay of Plenty region as a Te Kawa West Young Farmers member, Emma says this year, whatever the result, she hoped to be an inspiration for other people and other young women wanting to enter the industry. She has well and truly achieved that.

Farming talent runs in the family as Emma's brother, Tim Dangen, was the 2022 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final Winner.

The Grand Final

This is a jam-packed three-day event involving head-to-head competition plus technical elements, including an HR challenge and innovation project. The contestants must also  deliver a convincing speech and battle it out in the infamous quiz on awards night, where contestants are put to the test on their agricultural and general knowledge questions.

Aorangi representative Peter O’Connor was named runner up FMG Young Farmer of the Year, and Otago Southland’s Hugh Jackson took home third place.

East Coast wins the inaugural FMG Region-off
We changed things up this year in the lead up to Grand Final and introduced the FMG Region-off. It saw the seven NZ Young Farmers regions go head-to-head to win the top region for 2023.

AgriKidsNZ, FMG Juniors and FMG Young Farmers Grand Finalists teamed up for a regional rural showdown to try and win $5000 for a local cause chosen by them. Points were earned for each region through public voting and completing small, community focused challenges in the ‘Be Farmstrong Challenge’. Regions also earnt points by winning specific categories during Grand final.
East Coast were crowned the 2023 FMG Region-off winners, where $5,000 will be given to their chosen local cause, East Coast Rural Support Trust.

The region’s community spirit shone through in their ‘Be Farmstrong’ challenge entries. From making and delivering hundreds of meals to their local community, lending a hand to local farmers to help with cyclone clean ups, to helping their school groundskeeper with tasks.

As part of their win, the FMG Young Farmer will receive $1000, $1000 will be split between the FMG Junior finalists and $1000 will be split between the AgriKidsNZ finalists.

East Coast Grand Finalists representatives

East Coast FMG Young Farmer Grand Finalist – Patrick Crawshaw; FMG Juniors – Cameron Brans and Quinn Redpath (Napier Boys High School), George Giblin and Baxter Twist (Napier Boys High School); AgriKidsNZ – Team Agri-Tools (Ollie Mitchell, Payton Thomsen and Sam Beetham), Ongaonga Musterers (Katie Bibby, Oliver Merridew and Chloe Lawson), Opaki School (Charlotte
Wyeth, Hillary Sims and Maia Lenihan).

FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year

After six years of competing in FMG’s Junior Young Farmer of the Year, twins Zoe and Millar McElrea from Otago Southland, have finally taken out the title for 2023. They were put to the test over 2 days through an exam, a speech, Practical Day challenges and a quiz. The dynamic duo showed consistency across all challenges and came out on top.

AgriKids NZ

Congratulations to the legendary trio, ‘Team Legendairy’ from Mount Somers Springburn School for taking out the 2023 AgriKidsNZ title.

Georgia Heaven, Flynn Wallace and Charlie Clark were victorious after battling it out against 20 other teams from across the country at Grand Final.