Waitomo sheep and beef farmer and Lincoln University alumni, Mitchel Hoare, won the Waikato Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer of the Year title in Hamilton on Saturday, earning a shot at taking overall honours in July.
He joins fellow alumni and Diploma of Agriculture graduate, Lisa Kendall, in the grand final after she claimed the Northern title last weekend. “
For both, it will be a return to their alma mater, as Lincoln is a contributing partner of the event and will host a section of the Grand Final on campus.
As a land-based University, Lincoln has a strong connection with the values and skills the contest represents, having played an important role in the agricultural sector since 1878.
Mitchel is a former World Young Shepherd Champion, winning the title in France in 2014.
"That fuelled my desire to compete and after going to Lincoln, competing and winning became more of an achievable target and now I think I’m ready to have a crack.”
"Young Farmers was a lot harder than I was expecting, that's for sure. The time pressure is just insane.
“You're just constantly in a hurry to finish tasks and then on to the next one. There's no breaks, there's no resting. It's just go, go, go all day.
“It's not until you stop and actually have a moment to breathe that you realise how fatigued and tired you are and how much of a big day it has been," he said.
Mitchel also claimed the Lincoln University Food strainer award during the contest.
The next regional final, Taranaki/Manawatu, is on 22 February in Hawera, with alumni Kurt Armstrong up to make it a three peat for Lincoln.