Wyndham farmer third
Wyndham farmer Dean Rabbidge picked up his newborn son yesterday for the first time in a week.
It was a precious moment in an otherwise extremely busy few days.
Rabbidge placed third in the 2014 ANZ Young Farmer grand finals in Lincoln, held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
While "gutted" he did not win - the title went to David Kidd of Auckland - Rabbidge said he was pleased he had given it a go.
Rabbidge had competed in the regional competition three times and placed fifth in the grand final last year.
The competition was extremely tough and he said he struggled with the practical component, which was machinery-oriented.
However, he was pleased with his performance in the agrisports section and the interview, and said overall it was an event he would definitely encourage other young farmers to enter.
"It was a fantastic experience, great to be involved with.
"I have just got to encourage anybody who thinks they have got what it takes, not to hold back," he said.
He believed there were many young Southland farmers who would be more than capable of entering the competition.
"Don't be backwards in coming forwards.
"It's a great way to meet people and benchmark yourself and . . . challenge yourself," he said.
The seven grand finalists were put through their paces during the three days of competition.
The event opened on Thursday at Lincoln University with events including demonstrating skills such as match-ploughing, wind-rowing, assembling an irrigation system, and building and maintaining a miniature farm.
They were also tested on engine mechanics, animal health and welding, and gave a speech.
Second place went to Reuben Carter, of Tasman, fourth was Dwayne Cowin, fifth Sully Alsop, sixth Brad Lewis and seventh James Davidson.
The Southland Times